Making nanotechnology safer through insurance

Bill Joy, we at Foresight, and others have called for the use of insurance as a tool to help reduce the potential risks of nanotechnology. This assumes that the insurance industry is willing to take on the task. So it’s reassuring to see a new report, “Nanotechnology: The Plastics of the 21st Century?”, by Guy Carpenter & Company, Inc., “the world’s leading risk and reinsurance specialist”. From the Executive Summary:

Insurance cover for nanotechnology products are expected to evolve in three stages:
1. An early study period, currently underway, where insurers and reinsurers study
the issue.
2. The fear phase, frequently accentuated by unfounded but terrifying rumors. This
stage is expected to be short, given the generally benign nature of nanotechnology
3. The mature phase, where cover routinely is provided either within conventional
products or on a standalone basis…

Nanotechnology carries a great promise for improved economic and social well-being.
Given sensible management of the risk by governments and the insurance industry, this new scientific advancement can add greatly to the progress of humanity.

Technical readers will be a bit jolted by some bloopers:

Nanotechnology is based on matter that is so small that it exists in the atomic and molecular realm…

Nanometers exist in the realm of quantum physics…

Companies wishing to avoid such bloopers can join Foresight as a corporate member, and we’ll be happy to review a few documents. If you need more help than that, let’s talk. (Source: Meridian) —Christine

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