How to do Geoethical Nanotechnology


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How to do Geoethical Nanotechnology

  1. 1. Geoethical Rules forNanotechnological Advances Martine Rothblatt Terasem Movement, Inc. 2012 July 20
  2. 2. Nanotechnological Advances• Manufacturing at Sub- Micron Sizes• Self-Replicating Sub- Micron Machines• Biotechnological Medicines• Synthetic Genomics• Molecular Computing
  3. 3. Geoethical Rules• Principle of Consent • Principle of Compliance – Obtain prior terms – Act pursuant to the of consent from such Principle of Consent others, or their strictly in representatives, accordance with who may independent foreseeably be assurance of one’s materially and compliance with. adversely affected by one’s life science actions.
  4. 4. Cultural Universality of Geoethics• Fundamental Fairness, or Equal Protection• Evolutionary Tendency Toward Categorization• Nature of Consciousness• Darwinian Group Selection – Sir Francis Bacon: “If we do not maintain Justice, then Justice will not maintain us”
  5. 5. Beyond the Borders of Bioethics• Autonomy – Who do we ask?• Beneficence – Good for whom?• Non-Malfeasance – Avoid harm to whom?• Justice – Fair to whom?
  6. 6. Practicality of Geoethics: Consent• Scientific Determination of who may be “materially and adversely affected”• Legal Determination of Adequacy of Representative Consent• Very Proactionary, Without Forsaking Precaution
  7. 7. Practicality of Geoethics: Compliance• Legal Determination of “Independent Assurance” with Terms of Consent• Transparency• Lack of Conflicts• Demonstrated Expertise
  8. 8. Bioethics is a Subset of Geoethics Geoethics
  9. 9. Why Wasn’t Informed Consent Enough for Bioethics if Enough for Geoethics?• Bioethics Obtains • Geoethics Obtains Consent from Consent from Individuals, Who Are Populations, Not Weak & Unable to Individuals, Providing Negotiate Terms Negotiating Strength• Requirements for • Aspects of Beneficence Beneficence and Non- and Non-Malfeasance Malfeasance Helped Will Be Taken Into Make Up for Weak Account in Granting Individual Autonomy Geoethical Consent
  10. 10. Society for Accelerating Geoethical Advances in Nanotechnology (SAGAN)• Formed by Treaty And Scientific Peer Pressure• Actions Involving Nanotech Must First Be Cleared by SAGAN• SAGAN Must Decide Within 100 Days if Proposed Nanotech “May Forseeably Materially & Adversely Affect Others”
  11. 11. SAGAN Governing Procedures• If No Scientific Evidence of Forseeable Material & Adverse Harm, Then SAGAN Must Authorize Proposed Nanotech Per Proactionary Principle of Max More• If Such Harm Is Foreseeable, SAGAN Must Seek Prior Consent of Affected Populations Via Their Representatives
  12. 12. SAGAN Consent Procedures• National Processes, If Consistent with Respect for Autonomy• Public Opinion Surveys if Consistent with Informed Consent• Majority Is Good Enough Because Democracy Accepts That for Other Risks• If Consent Cannot Be Obtained, Then the Nanotech Cannot Cause Risk in that Geography
  13. 13. SAGAN Compliance Procedures• Effector of Nanotech Must Provide Independent Funding of Means of Compliance with Terms of Consent• Endowment or User Fees• Compliance Organization Must Have Authority to Terminate Nanotech Operations if Consent Violated
  14. 14. Alternatives for Nanotech Unable to Meet Geoethical Rules• Change the Geography of the Nanotech – Outer Space – Seasteading• Change the Risk Profile of the Nanotech• Agree to Stricter Terms of Consent for the Nanotech