Nanotechnology and other emerging technologies are rapidly evolving in the worldwide context of globalization. Yet very limited national and international frameworks have emerged for assessment, regulation and governance of new technologies. This phenomenon may be explained by several factors: a priorization of economic responsibilities over those of health and environment; diversity of materials and their properties; complexity of risk assessment (ex. NBIC); differing expectations of economic impact; strategic partnerships between universities, industry, and government; conflicting politico-economic agendas; a race toward innovation and patent application.

The national and international communities are working toward various forms of assessment and regulation, as these should be necessary conditions for a sustainable development of new technologies. Some countries seem to have adopted a wait-and-see approach, which is often detrimental to the national responsibility of the state and the development of emerging technologies. Often, the general public is kept in the dark as to matters of social, environmental and economic concerns.

Furthermore, a lack of regulation, geographic variability in rules and regulations and the outsourcing of innovation are raising concerns with international responsibility as regards to new technologies.The aim of this international conference is to initiate thought-provoking discussion on the sustainable and responsible development of nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. The conference will explore the following themes within an international and multidisciplinary framework at the plenary sessions;

  • The role of the state in assessing, framing and applying public policies on nanotechnologies and emerging technologies

  • Representations, applications and impacts of nanotechnologies and emerging technologies in the fields of energy, health, food and agriculture

In this call of papers, the S.Net 2015 Conference is now inviting the submission of abstracts to explore the following themes around nanotechnologies and emerging technologies:

  • Scientific and social assessment of emerging technologies for a sustainable society
  • Responsible research and innovation in a global context
  • Emerging technologies in energy, food and agriculture
  • Safety research; from occupational health to ecohealth
  • The economics, politics and ethics of innovation
  • Emerging technologies and the future; narratives, visions and practices
  • Governance and regulation; international and North-South perspective
  • Innovation and the military complex