Engaging in small talk: Nanotechnology policy and dialogue processes in the UK and Australia

Graeme A. Hodge, Diana M. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article discusses the phenomena of nanotechnology, and notes that despite high investment levels for global research and development, the public presently understands neither the implications of this emerging technology nor how it might be best governed. It considers the notion of the public interest and its place in the public policy cycle, and notes some of the specific challenges posed by this new technology. Adopting a comparative jurisdictional approach, this article maps a range of policy and dialogue activities currently underway within the United Kingdom and Australia and concludes that policy dialogue is an essential component of public policy development for all emerging technologies. While the Australian government is currently beginning this process, compared to countries such as the United Kingdom, such efforts here are still embryonic. A fuller engagement in wide-ranging public debate is suggested as a part of protecting the public interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-237
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Nanotechnology
  • Policy processes
  • Public interest
  • Public policy cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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