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sexta-feira, 19 de julho de 2013

Ethical, Social, Environmental, and Legal aspects of Nanotechnologies: a reading from Mexico

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management: Vol. 10, No. 02

GIAN CARLO DELGADO-RAMOS, Int. J. Innovation Technol. Management, 10, 1340001 (2013) [23 pages] DOI: 10.1142/S0219877013400014This article is a product of research project No. 118244 of the National Research Council of Mexico and carried out at CEIICH-UNAM.


Full-time researcher within the program titled "The World in the 21st Century" of the Center on Interdisciplinary Research in Sciences and Humanities (Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades — CEIICH) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México — UNAM). Member of the National System of Researchers of the National Science and Technology Council (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología — CONACYT).
CEIICH-UNAM, Torre II de Humanidades, 5th Floor, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City 04510, Mexico

Received: 13 December 2009
Revised: 21 January 2010
Accepted: 31 January 2010
Published: 19 June 2013

The capacity to manipulate matter at the atoms scale promises such a potential that, both positive and eventual negative aspects of nanotechnology are part of current debate. Nano-applications promise to revolutionize healthcare, energy production, agriculture, environmental remediation solutions, and most of manufacturing processes; in fact some earliest products are already hitting the market. At the same time socioeconomic, legal, environmental and ethical aspects stand as issues of legitimate public concern that policy makers are faced to address. It is a context in which an open, constructive, and permanent dialogue among diverse social actors seems to be needed in order to avoid or reduce unnecessary costs and probable risks, while promoting benefits. This paper offers an overview of such aspects from Mexican perspective. After a general introduction, it describes and contrasts the promotion of nanoscience and nanotechnology worldwide and in Mexico. A brief discussion on legal aspects follows, including intellectual rights and patenting challenges ahead. Finally the need of an ad hoc regulatory framework takes us to discuss the relevance of a social dialogue and management as a democratic way of promotding a responsible development of nanotechnologies.

Keywords: Nanotechnology; Mexico; implications; legal aspects; regulation