The Journal of Nanoparticle Research published the article “Empowering citizens in international governance of nanotechnologies in Volume 17, Issue 5 (May 2015). Abstract: The international dialogue on responsible governance of nanotechnologies engages a wide range of actors with conflicting as well as common interests. It is also characterised by a lack of evidence-based data on uncertain risks of in particular engineered nanomaterials. The present paper aims at deepening understanding of the collective decision making context at international level using the grounded theory approach as proposed by Glaser and Strauss in “The Discovery of Grounded Theory” (1967). This starts by discussing relevant concepts from different fields including sociological and political studies of international relations as well as political philosophy and ethics. This analysis of current trends in international law making is taken as starting point for exploring the role that a software decision support tool could play in multi-stakeholder global governance of nanotechnologies. These theoretical ideas are then compared with the current design of the SUN Decision Support System (SUNDS) under development in the European project on Sustainable Nanotechnologies (SUN, www.sun-fp7.eu). Through constant comparison, the ideas are also compared with requirements of different stakeholders as expressed during a user workshop. This allows for highlighting discussion points for further consideration.
Authors: Ineke Malsch, Vrishali Subramanian, Elena Semenzin, Danail Hristozov, Antonio Marcomini, Martin Mullins, Karena Hester, Eamonn McAlea, Finbarr Murphy, Syed A. M. Tofail.