Skip to main content

Nanotechnology article published in UCLA journal

April 01, 2011

Professor Ken Abbott, Gary Marchant, executive director of the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation and Doug Sylvester, associate dean for Faculty Research and Development, all of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, have published their article, “A New Soft Law Approach to Nanotechnology Oversight: A Voluntary Product Certification Scheme” in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy.

The article focuses on the need for greater regulatory oversight of nanotechnology because of the potential health and environmental risks. However, the authors argue that traditional regulation could be problematic as it is difficult to define the universe of “nanotechnology” products that should be regulated as well as the difficulty in developing the appropriate regulatory framework.

Instead, they argue for a voluntary certification, where those that produce nanotechnology products may obtain a government-supervised certification for those products if they are subjected to specified safety testing, data disclosure and risk management measures. While voluntary, the authors argue that it is still likely to garner strong industry participation because of pressure from consumers.

To read the article’s abstract, click here.

A leading scholar in international law, Abbott’s teaching and research focus on the interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations, including public and private institutions, environmental issues, development policy, global health, and international trade and economic law. He is a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, a Faculty Fellow in the College’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, a member of the College’s Center for Law and Global Affairs Advisory Board and a Professor of Global Studies at ASU, where he co-directs the global environmental governance program.

Marchant’s research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine, and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. He also is a Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

Sylvester, Faculty Fellow of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, publishes, teaches and lectures on issues of intellectual property law and commercialization, international law, emerging technologies and privacy. In 2006, he taught Nanotechnology and the Law, the first time such a course was offered in the country by full-time law faculty.

Staci McCabe,
(480) 965-8702
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law