Nanoethics: Safety, Risk, and Responsible Innovation
This session offers an introduction to contemporary thinking on nanoethics, applying this to the context of the industrial laboratory and opening up a discussion of what constitutes ethical practice in scientific research and development. Throughout, the emphasis will be on the critical skills and tools needed to engage in informal ethical reflection in the workplace. After giving a whirlwind tour of key ideas in nanoethics, the focus will move to ways in which the ‘ethical’ is being used within notions of responsible innovation and corporate social responsibility. The continuum between ‘doing no harm’ and being a ‘positive social force’ will be introduced, with reference to what this continuum will look like in the context of the industrial hygiene and safety professions. Recent research on lay ethical concerns regarding nanotechnology will also be discussed. Finally, the group will engage in a discussion of how ‘nanoethics’ can be practically applied to the professional contexts in which they work. This course is coordinated by Dr Sarah R Davies, of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University.