Just received from Steffen Foss Hansen is a paper by his colleague Evan Michelson at the Wilson Center on the tough issue of “Nanotechnology Policy: An Analysis of Transnational Governance Issues Facing the United States and China.” An excerpt:
Due to the rapid pace of R&D, discoveries in nanotechnology could come in great, discontinuous leaps and, in turn, revolutionize society’s knowledge and understanding of the physical world in rather short amounts of time. In turn, these technological leaps could come to strain the ability of public institutions and public infrastructure—especially in China, which will likely face an additional host of resource, population, and energy challenges in the coming decades—to respond in an effective and timely manner.
So true. And even more true than the paper conveys, since it appears to focus on environmental issues without addressing military and surveillance concerns, which should be even harder to deal with. But perhaps governance structures for the former could be of some use for the latter as well. —Christine