David Rejeski

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David Rejeski is the Director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), a project jointly funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to facilitate the commercial use of nanotechnology.

He is also the Director, Foresight and Governance Project and of the Serious Games Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. [1]

In the Introduction to a September 2005 report on public attitudes towards nanotechnology commissioned by PEN Rejeski wrote that "in the absence of balanced information, people are often left to specvulate about the possible impacts of nanotechnology". [2] (Pdf)

"They often draw on analogies to past technologies, many of which may be misleading, such as asbestos, dioxin, Agent Orange, or nuclear power," he continued.

While the survey results indicated that many of the focus group participants were open to persuasion on the technology, there is a great deal of suspicion. "Consumers want more information to make informed choices about nanotechnology’s use, and they strongly support more research and safety testing before products go to market," he wrote.

As to the industry's preferred position of reliance on voluntary standards the survey found entrenched opposition. "When asked whether they felt voluntary standards for industry would be sufficient to manage the potential risks of nanotechnology, 55 percent of study participants said that mandatory government controls are necessary. An additional 33 percent were unsure whether voluntary standards would be sufficient," he wrote.

While those surveyed were either opposed or wary of voluntary standards, Rejeski signalled his support for them at least on an interim basis. "Government and industry need to realize that while voluntary measures may be pursued in the short term, they may not assuage public concerns over the long term," he noted.

While noting that the public is often willing to support new technologies where there is "clear evidence of early, significant new benefits like low cosy solar energy or a breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer disease", he acknowledged that nanotechnology would face public wariness. "For nanotechnology, those significant benefits are still largely a promise. Until they are delivered, expect a certain degree of public skepticism about the next big thing," he wrote. [3]

"He sits on the advisory boards of a number of organizations, including the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, the Greening of Industry Network, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and the University of Michigan’s Corporate Environmental Management Program. He is a member of the External Advisory Board of Nanologue, a European project to bring together leading researchers to facilitate an international dialogue on the social, ethical and legal benefits and potential impacts of nanosciences and nanotechnologies. He has graduate degrees in public administration and environmental design from Harvard and Yale." [4]

SourceWatch resources

External links

  • The Millennium Project People, organizational web page, accessed April 29, 2018.