Structuring the Concept of Nanotechnologies and Their Societal Implications

Research Project , Research Report 2007

Hideyuki Horii Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo
Yoshinori Nakagawa Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Kochi University of Technology

Abstract

It is expected that nanotechnologies have great benefits to society and contribute to the sustainability of the society. In order to realize the contribution, it is important to assess their societal implications in advance, and take necessary social actions. However, assessment of nanotechnologies is difficult by nature. It is because different people adopt different definition of nanotechnologies, the concept has become very vague. In such a situation, it may happen that we assess nanotechnologies without knowing what they are. With this as a background, this report analyses how each stakeholder define nanotechnologies. The results will serve as bases for the future assessment of nanotechnologies.

Keywords:

nanotechnology, technology assessment