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4 Law Innovation & Tech. 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/linovte4 and id is 1 raw text is: (2012) 4(1) Law, Innovation and Technology 1-33

Foresighting Futures: Law, New Technologies, and
the Challenges of Regulating for Uncertainty
Graeme Laurie,' Shawn HE Harmon and Fabiana Arzuaga-
It is perhaps trite but worth repeating that existing social and legal systems aimed at pro-
moting human wellbeing and prosperity face significant and multi-faceted challenges.
Some come from the natural world and some from humankind itself. Of the latter, some
come from the way we behave and treat each other, some from the way we interact with
and wish to shape our environment, and, most challenging of all, some come from the
way we envision and seek to shape our future. Many of these implicate the law. Indeed,
never have we demanded so much from our legal and regulatory frameworks and those
who operate them, and never have they faced so many pressures and variables. The fol-
lowing captures the character of the times:
Uncertainty ... is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the
only security.
Unsurprisingly, this uncertainty is contributed to-if not driven by-technology. The
following poem, offered at the US Library of Congress in 1979, is a worthy expression of
the technological contribution to uncertainty:
Professor of MIedical Jurisprudence, University of Edinburgh, UK; Co-Director of SCRIPT, AHRC Centre
for Research on Intellectual Property and Technology Law, University of Edinburgh.
Research Fellow, INNOGEN, ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genornics,
University of Edinburgh, UK, and SCRIPT, AHRC Centre for Research on Intellectual Property and
Technology Law, University of Edinburgh.
Chair, Argentine Advisory Commission on Regenerative Medicine & Cellular Therapies, Ministry of
Science, Technology & Productive Innovation, and Lecturer at the University of Buenos Aires.
The authors are very grateful to Professor Timothy Caulfield, University of Alberta, for his helpful
comments and insights on an earlier draft of this paper. All errors and ideas remain the sole responsibility
of the authors. All websites accessed 18 April 2012.
1 J Paulos,A Mathetmatician Plays the Stock Market (Basic Books, 2003) v.


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