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Foresight Institute Press Policy

Foresight Institute is a non-profit organization committed to the safe development of molecular nanotechnology and other emerging technologies which may be used to improve the human condition. We hold two different types of meetings each year. One is our technical conference, typically held late in the year. The other is our Senior Associate Gatherings, which are held in the spring and fall.

Foresight works closely with journalists year-round, providing orientation, pointers to experts, and free registration to our technical conference. This conference has no restrictions with regard to publishing of the content presented at the meeting. Interviews with presenters may be arranged upon request, though any specific copyrights or trademarks must be protected.

Our organizational policy of openness has been modified for the Senior Associate Gatherings, which are the meetings exclusively held for and attended by Foresight donors. Journalists may attend these events, but they must first join the organization as Senior Associates. Registration fees are not waived for journalists attending these event. The Gatherings are "off-the-record" for press coverage. We request that any press persons attending not publish coverage of event content.

It's a great place to get background, however, and many participants are happy to give interviews on the side, as long as such "on-the-record" conversations are clearly demarcated.

Reasons for this selective "off-the-record" policy include:

  • Participants are encouraged to explore controversial issues, often testing out positions they will soon abandon. This exploration would be greatly inhibited by the anticipation of press coverage of intermediate positions;
  • Even with considerable care, it's hard to keep these controversial issues from being accidentally taken out of context;
  • Many participants hold spokesperson roles in their organizations, so their personal views are likely to be misinterpreted as the organizations' official positions, regardless of how clearly they are identified otherwise.

We've been told that press members find substantial benefit in attending without doing formal coverage — they are able to participate fully in the event, without having to continually distance themselves from the process and play the role of observer.

Members of the press are encouraged to join as full participants and as Senior Associates, registering for the Senior Associate events using the standard process.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community!

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