A team of professors at Arizona State University, including three faculty members of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, has received a quarter-million-dollar federal grant to pursue their research of nanotechnology regulation.
The two-year, $248,230 award from the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) Program in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science will enable the researchers to evaluate novel "soft law" mechanisms for oversight of the technology. The grant, "Governing Nanotechnology Risks and Benefits in the Transition to Regulation," was made to Gary Marchant, Ken Abbott and Doug Sylvester, professors at the College of Law, and Elizabeth Corley, an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and co-principal investigator for the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.
The grant follows a $314,000 federal award that Marchant, Abbott and Sylvester received in 2007 on behalf of the College of Law's Center for Law, Science & Innovation to develop models for the international regulation of nanotechnology.
Known as the science of the small the ability to manipulate and utilize materials at the "nanoscale" level where they display unique and beneficial characteristics -- nanotechnology is a growing science with big implications for healthy, safety, quality of life and environment concerns. Already, there are hundreds of nanotechnology products on the market, yet the industry is largely unregulated.
"Nanotechnology is involved in a lot of different types of products, such as stain-repellant clothing, highly effective sunscreen lotions and many renewable energy applications," said Marchant, the ASU Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, and Executive Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation. "With so many nanotech products coming onto the market, some will undoubtedly create human health problems if not managed properly, potentially jeopardizing the entire nano brand
|Contact: Janie Magruder|
Arizona State University