Nanotechnologies, Risks and Societal Concerns

  •  Sandrine Gaymard    
  •  Wilson Engelmann    


The question of nanotechnologies and societal concerns is a subject which has been developing for several years and constitutes an indicator of an evolution in the awareness of nanotechnologies as an inherent risk with social and ethical issues. Two disciplines in human and social sciences, social psychology and law, associate their fields of competence and their view of this new societal phenomenon. First an exploratory study of the social representation of nanotechnologies is conducted with Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) students vs Exact Science (ES) students. Results highlight differences between these two groups. Then Law and the challenges to appropriate the innovations brought about by nanotechnology is discussed. In the light of these two disciplines the question of knowing if the human and social science are ready to deal with these new challenges is debated.

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