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Risk, Language, and Power: The Nanotechnology Environmental Policy Case

Risk, Language, and Power: The Nanotechnology Environmental Policy Case

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  • ISBN-13: 9780739170540
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Release Date: Feb 09, 2012
  • Pages: 206 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.81 x 9.25 x 6.25 inches


Risk, Language, and Power explores discourse around the environmental risks of nanotechnology, making the case that the dominance in risk discourse of regulatory science is a limiting policy debate on environmental risks, and that specific initiatives should be undertaken to broaden debate not just on nanotechnology, but generally on the risks of new technologies. Morris argues that the treatment of environmental risk in public policy debates has failed for industrial chemicals, is failing for nanotechnology, and most certainly will fail for synthetic biology and other new technologies unless we change how we describe the impacts to people and other living things from the development and deployment of technology. However, Morris also contends that the nanotechnology case provides reason for optimism that risk can be given different, and better, treatment in environmental policy debates. Risk, Language, and Power proposes specific policy initiatives to advance a richer discourse around the environmental implications of emerging technologies. Morris believes that evidence of enriched environmental policy debates would be a decentering of language concerning risk by developing within discourse language and practice directed toward enriching the human and environmental condition.

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