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NANOMAT-Nanoteknologi og nye materialer

NANOTRUST: Ethical conditions for a socially robust use of nanobiotechnology in aquaculture

Awarded: NOK 4.6 mill.

A keyword in the proposed project is trust. We take the starting point that trust is a necessary prerequisite for social robust development and application of nanotechnology. New technologies as nanotechnology are framed by scientific uncertainty and igno rance both regarding positive and negative potentials of the technology. Independent research and development is only possible if politicians and the public have faith in the capabilities of science to handle these uncertainties. This requires that the sc ientists understand the impact of their activity as well as the limits to their knowledge and that a sound risk management is developed, but also that this knowledge is communicated in a way that enhances trust and that the scientists understand and accep t public values and expectations for their activity. Hence, the proposed project aims to gather perspectives on risk, social values and expectations with regard to introduction of nanotechnology, using nanoparticles for delivery of vaccines as our case st udy. Nanoparticles (e.g. PLGA particles) as vaccine carrier for rapid and long-lasting immunisation have been successfully implemented in vaccination of mammalian species. This technology is recently applied to aquaculture by a project (FISHVACCPLAT, Univ ersity of Tromsø) that will form a basis on the case study. The process will involve an ethical analysis of how trust can be a fundament for development and application of nanotechnology. We will explore the connections between technology approaches to sc ientific uncertainty of potential harm, scientific understanding of their own activity, how this is communicated to society, ways to engage the public in technology regulation and the relation between responsibility and trust connected to such risk manage ment and communication. The project will be carried out at the Department of Philosophy, Program of Applied Ethics, NTNU Trondheim, and at Norwegian institute of Gene Ecology in close co-operation with partners.

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NANOMAT-Nanoteknologi og nye materialer