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The governance of nanotechnologies and nanosciences: promotion vs. regulation

Longuere, KS; (2015) The governance of nanotechnologies and nanosciences: promotion vs. regulation. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This is a qualitative empirical study of the governance of nanotechnologies and nanosciences that explores decision making and the decision-making processes in thelight of the emergence of a novel technology and scientific field in Sweden, Finland and the UK. The study, which took place between 2008 and 2011, particularly utilised Gibbons et al. and Rip’s models for science governance, the Mode 1/Mode 2 theses, and Arie Rip’s Strategic Science, alongside thinking around the Knowledge-based Economy as a springboard to examine a selection of characteristics related to organisational diversity and social accountability in decision-making. The data was collected through 42 semi-structured interviews held with 46 actors involved with nanotechnologies and nanosciences related decision-making in the three countries. Additionally, a case study utilising interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted to capture more detailed accounts of the experiences of three interviewees concerning their participation in decision-making. 'The main conclusions drawn from this study is that the decision-making processes and policy outcomes were very different in the three countries, despite their similarities in terms of socio-economic characteristics, geographic location, and the importance of 'R&D to their economies. The differences were caused by the structures of their respective science governance systems, past controversies, and, possibly, cultural characteristics. The novelty of nanotechnologies and nanosciences, didn't affect policy outcomes, and more organisational diversity and social accountability did not make them more robust. However, the study found support for a more balanced discussion that included both regulatory issues and the promotion of nanotechnologies and nanosciences in the UK as opposed to both Sweden and Finland, which could be related to more organisational diversity and social accountability as noted for the UK. Exploring Gibbons et al. and Rip’s models of science governance showed that neither model is generally applicable to all three countries, and that there is a need for flexibility in order to capture national differences in science governance. The Strategic Science model came across as being more easily applicable in these circumstances.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The governance of nanotechnologies and nanosciences: promotion vs. regulation
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473094
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