Prometheus Reimagined

Technology, Environment, and Law in the Twenty-first Century
Albert C. Lin

A call for a more thoughtful and democratic approach to technology policy and regulation


Technologies such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and geoengineering promise to address many of our most serious problems, yet they also bring environmental and health-related risks and uncertainties. Moreover, they can come to dominate global production systems and markets with very little public input or awareness. Existing governance institutions and processes do not adequately address the risks of new technologies, nor do they give much consideration to the concerns of persons affected by them.

Instead of treating technology, health, and the environment as discrete issues, Albert C. Lin argues that laws must acknowledge their fundamental relationship, anticipating both future technological developments and their potential adverse effects. Laws should encourage international cooperation and the development of common global standards, while allowing for flexibility and reassessment.
“What this book contributes is a detailed look at potential governance mechanisms in a historical perspective, and a close legal analysis of existing and potential regulatory structures for a particular group of emerging technologies. The biggest strength is the legal analysis of how U.S. regulation applies and does not apply to emerging technologies, and some good policy ideas for generating new governance.”
—David Winickoff, University of California, Berkeley, College of Natural Resources
Prometheus Reimagined combines lucid description of nanotechnology, biotechnology, geoengineering, and synthetic biology with detailed analysis of the fragmented law inadequately addressing these technologies’ potential risks. Professor Lin then develops reform recommendations to facilitate informed democratic value choices about how to address those risks before, rather than after, they create serious harm.”
—David M. Driesen, Syracuse University College of Law

Albert C. Lin is Professor of Law specializing in environmental law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law.

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 316pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11883-0

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  • $80.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2017
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03698-1

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  • $34.95 U.S.

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  • emerging technology, environment, environmental law, genetic engineering, geoengineering, innovation, nanotechnology, precautionary principle, risk management, synthetic biology, technology assessment