Risk Regulation and Governance

Research Project , Research Report 2007

Hideaki SHIROYAMA Graduate School of Law and Politics, Univ. of Tokyo
Tatsujiro SUZUKI Graduate School of Public Policy, Univ. of Tokyo
Makiko MATSUO Graduate School of Public Policy, Univ. of Tokyo
Ayako KAMISATO Graduate School of Public Policy, Univ. of Tokyo

Abstract

The development of science and technology is accompanied by various risks and social problems, as well as benefits. As the scope of this issue has grown wider, the range of interested actors has increased accordingly. Despite the fact that scientists and engineers would brand this talk as irrational and akin to vicious harmful rumor, if this is the reality of society, the escaping from the use of specific technologies to avoid economic and marketing loss is highly rational as far as society is concerned (for example, for some electronic utilities and governments in the case of nuclear energy, and for agricultural producers and agricultural policy makers in the case of genetically modified crops). So far as society decides to make use of science and technology with diverse social implications that encompass risk for society as well as benefit, there is a need for systems throughout society for the decision making and the management of the development and utilization of science and technology. In other words, governance of science and technology is required. Technology assessment is a tool for that.

Keywords:

governance, technology assessment, risk, benefit