A call for a more thoughtful and democratic approach to technology policy and regulation
Technologies such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and geoengineering promise to address many of our most serious problems, yet they also bring environmental and health-related risks and uncertainties. Moreover, they can come to dominate global production systems and markets with very little public input or awareness. Existing governance institutions and processes do not adequately address the risks of new technologies, nor do they give much consideration to the concerns of persons affected by them.
Instead of treating technology, health, and the environment as discrete issues, Albert C. Lin argues that laws must acknowledge their fundamental relationship, anticipating both future technological developments and their potential adverse effects. Laws should encourage international cooperation and the development of common global standards, while allowing for flexibility and reassessment.
Albert C. Lin is Professor of Law specializing in environmental law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law.