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Ethics in Nanotechnology: What’s Being Done? What’s Missing?

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Author Info

  • Louis Lu

    ()

  • Bruce Lin

    ()

  • John Liu

    ()

  • Chang-Yung Yu

    ()

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    Abstract

    Nanotechnology shows great promise in a variety of applications with attractive economic and societal benefits. However, societal issues associated with nanotechnology are still a concern to the general public. While numerous technological advancements in nanotechnology have been achieved over the past decade, research into the broader societal issues of nanotechnology is still in its early phases. Based on the data from the Web of Science database, we applied the main path analysis, cluster analysis and text mining tools to explore the main research fronts and hierarchical structure of these societal issues. We found that the research studies fell into four categories: “General Toxicity and EHS (Environment, Health and Safety),” “Medicine and Cytotoxicity,” “Assessment and Regulation,” and “Environment and Ecotoxicity.” These research studies have disclosed much information about the potential effect of nanotechnology on public health and the environment. Relatively speaking, the studies on the assessment, regulation, preventive solutions, and environmental protection are just emerging. This finding indicates that an abundance of effort should be conducted on these emerging themes to maximize the benefits of nanotechnology while minimizing its potential harm. The implications for various parties in this domain are also presented. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1432-1
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 583-598

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:4:p:583-598

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Nanotechnology; EHS (environment; health; and safety); ELSI (ethical; legal; and social issues); Societal issues; Main path analysis; Citation network; Research front;

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    1. Kirsten Martin & R. Freeman, 2004. "The Separation of Technology and Ethics in Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 353-364, September.
    2. Chris Groves & Lori Frater & Robert Lee & Elen Stokes, 2011. "Is There Room at the Bottom for CSR? Corporate Social Responsibility and Nanotechnology in the UK," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 101(4), pages 525-552, July.
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