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Nanotechnology and Nanoscience The Royal Society

Nanotechnology: Civil Society Groups

Regulation

In considering how nanotechnology might impact society, the tripartite split of technologies into those that are accelerations, intensifications and radical discontinuities was discussed. The extent to which focus ought to be on potentially radical discontinuities in technology progress, rather than accelerations or intenstifications, as these offer the most challenges for regulatory mechanisms, was discussed. A CS representative argued that in fact nanotechnology applied in many areas would intensify existing trends that may be considered societally damaging, and that this intensification was sufficient to warrant concern and the revisitation of regulation as much as any step change. It was agreed by a number of CS attendees that scientists and regulatory agencies needed to work together with other social groups, including non-experts, in order to draw on a wide range of knowledge and identify areas of concern.

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The Royal Society 2003
The Royal Academy of Engineering