While emerging technologies now being developed and commercialized may result in useful applications, they can also have serious negative social, environmental and political consequences. That's why emerging technologies need precautionary assessment, regulation and oversight – including those that are fast tracked and marketed as "techno-fixes" or "green" panaceas to climate change and other crises.
CSF and WML focus on developments in three emerging and converging technologies in particular:
- Nanotechnology – the creation and commercialization of tiny bits of matter (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter)
- Synthetic biology – the design, manufacture and release of artificially created DNA
- Geoengineering – intentional, large-scale climate manipulation through a range of methods