Risk, Precaution, and Emerging Technologies *
This paper explores a framework for thinking about risks inherent in emerging technologies; given uncertainty about the magnitude—or even nature—of those risks, deliberation about those technologies is challenged. § 1 develops a conceptual framework for risk, and §2 integrates that conception into cost-benefit analysis. Given uncertainty, we are often pushed toward precautionary approaches, and such approaches are explored in §3. These first three sections are largely literature review, and then a positive argument for how to think about the relationship between risk, precaution, and uncertainty is offered in §4.