Scenario planning and nanotechnological futures

  • Farber D
  • Lakhtakia A
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Abstract

Scenario planning may assist us in harnessing the benefits of nanotechnology and managing the associated risks for the good of the society. Scenario planning is a way to describe the present state of the world and develop several hypotheses about the future of the world, thereby enabling discussions about how the world ought to be. Scenario planning thus is not only a tool for learning and foresight, but also for leadership. Informed decision-making by experts and political leaders becomes possible, while simultaneously allaying public's perception of the risks of new and emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. Two scenarios of the societal impact of nanotechnology are the mixed-signals scenario and the confluence scenario. Technoscientists have major roles to play in both scenarios.

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Authors

  • Darryl Farber

  • Akhlesh Lakhtakia

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