Nanologue: Europe-wide Dialogue on Benefits, Risks and Social, Ethical and Legal Implications of Nanotechnology
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's overarching objective was to bring together current leading research on the social, ethical and legal implications of nanotechnology. The project has provided a common ground for a public discussion on the technologies benefits and risks by assessing ethical, legal and social aspects of nanotechnologies with the help of literature studies, stakeholder interviews and workshops. The results provide guidance for stakeholders, including nanotechnology researchers and developers, on how to address the issues to the wider benefit of both society and the economy (see www.nanologue.net).
Insights gained during the project have been translated into three future scenarios allowing for easy communication of the potential implications of these emerging technologies. The scenarios, available at the project website, are called: "Disaster recovery", "Now we're talking" and "Powering ahead".
For supporting nanotechnology researchers and product developers, an internet-based tool called NanoMeter has been developed (www.nanometer.nanologue.net). The NanoMeter allows to carry out an assessment of nanotechnology applications quickly during product research and development (R&D). It uses a series of questions or statements to help researchers explore the societal issues and concerns of their research. Further project deliverables can be found in the download section at www.nanologue.net.
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