Monday, April 25, 2005

Nanoforum: Benefits, Risks, Ethical, Logal and Social Aspects.... European Nanotechnology Gateway (multiple authors). BENEFITS, RISKS, ETHICAL, LEGAL AND SOCIAL ASPECTS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY. 4th Nanoforum Report. June 2004.


While much of this report is not particularly new or useful, there are notable exceptions.

Section 2.5 by Michael Gleiche and Holger Hoffschulz (25-29) provides a useful summary of the role nanotechnology may be playing in the semiconductor industry.

Section 3.3 by Sandrine Mocatelli, Carole Nicollet and Jean Charles Guibert (45-58) summarizes the potential impact of nanotechnologies on health. While some important research has updated this report, it remains one of the better summaries of the health and safety issues.

Chapter 5 by Mark Morrison on the ethical and political implications is rhetorically much of the same old bag of remarks. DEMOS does a much better job in examining the assumptions behind risk assessment. The summary of the Precautionary Principle was very superficial. However, section 5.4.2. (90-92) on military uses begins to examine the depth of this issue. Military applications involve augmenting human performance and enhancing delivery system of currently available weapons of mass destruction and should not be isolated nanoweapons per se. The author does a good job reviewing nanotechnology defense related research occurring outside of the USA.

Chapter six by Mireille Oud includes a fairly comprehensive review of EU regulatory activities in section 6.2 (96-104) and represents one of the few attempts to summarize this activity outside of the USA.

Chapter 7 by Ineke Malsch on national regulatory institutions and discussion groups is a resource worth keeping for those individuals trying to stay on top of SEIN (societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology) research.

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