Risks, Benefits and Who Decides?

  • Image
This forum asks participants to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of three options. They will also have the opportunity to raise questions about the societal and environmental implications of nanotechnology to a panel of experts. Participants will work in small groups to form a group recommendation drawing from the options presented—perhaps adding or combining elements, or creating a totally new option representing your group’s view on the issue. They are not limited to the three options presented for discussion. If the group cannot reach agreement on a recommendation, have them identify the items they agree upon and those on which they differ. Finally, each group will make a brief report to everyone on the group’s recommendations.
Product category


Big Idea

Given the potential benefits as well as the unknown risks associated with nanotechnology, who should play the major role in shaping its future development and developing regulations concerning its use?

Nano Content Map
Nanotechnologies—and their costs, utility, risks, and benefits—are closely interconnected with society and with our values.


Year created

Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
View more details

Development Process
NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.