Evaluating progress for the implementation of European Union nanotechnology strategies for safe design and responsible innovation of nanomaterials

Brennan, Maurice ORCID: 0000-0003-4898-5104 (2019). Evaluating progress for the implementation of European Union nanotechnology strategies for safe design and responsible innovation of nanomaterials. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study examines the twin themes of risk governance and anticipatory governance to establish whether European Union (EU) risk governance instruments and others such as Responsible Research and Innovation( RRI ) are delivering on their promises for the safe and responsible development of nanomaterials(NM). This is an empirical study that conducts semi-structured interviews with cross-sectoral experts working within nanotechnologies to examine these issues. The main findings identify critical flaws in the principal chemical safety regulations(REACH) due to the lack of specificity for NM safety testing, and the scientifically contested EU definition for NM. Both of which undermine legal authority for enforcing regulatory compliance. Secondly, critical scientific gaps are evident that prevent comprehensive nano-risk analysis of the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) implications of NM production. Thirdly, there are indications that the nano industry is seeking to avoid engaging with either product regulation (REACH) or the social-ethical appraisal of NM production. Finally, compounding these deficiencies, the EU does not provide a bespoke overarching EU risk governance framework to scrutinise either the EHS effects or the wider social implications of current and future nano-innovation pathways. In this study, I proposes a novel solution for such a framework centred on a ‘Safety by Social Design’ approach. Its purpose is to facilitate responsible innovation by the societal alignment of nano innovation within an adaptive and integrative risk governance framework. This will serve the purpose of progressing the EU towards a more anticipatory governance approach for nano innovation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Other Funders: Self funded
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9474


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