It's been a while in coming, but I can now announce a new project I'm involved with professionally: Nanologue
www.nanologue.net, is launched this week, bringing together leading researchers from across Europe to facilitate an international dialogue on the social, ethical and legal benefits and potential impacts of nanoscience and nanotechnologies.
In the aftermath of the controversy and debate on genetically modified organisms it has become abundantly clear that in order to harness new technologies for economic and social benefit, governments and businesses will have to address a wide range of social, ethical and regulatory concerns. Nanologue will bring together current leading research on the social, ethical and legal implications of nanotechnology, facilitate dialogue and produce guidance for stakeholders, developers of nanotechnology in particular, on how to address the issues uncovered to the wider benefit of both society and the economy.
We've barely got started with it, but its a critical time for carrying out a project like Nanologue. If businesses are to take a responsible approach to developing and promoting new and potentially transformative technologies they are going to have to engage with society a whole lot more than they do at present.
Thankfully, there are other projects looking at this area too.
- In the UK, the think tank, Demos, is running an ESRC project with Lancaster University.
My former employer, the RSA has now published its useful and interactive guidelines at www.techforum.org
And in the US, the Meridian Institute is working on its dialogue on nano and the poor