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Maximizing benefits, minimizing downsides of nanotechnology

Longtime Nanodot readers and Foresight members know that our goal here at Foresight is to maximize the benefits and minimize the downsides of nanotechnology. Our friends over at the Wilson Center’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies share that goal, as shown in their mission statement:

The Project is dedicated to helping ensure that as nanotechnologies advance, possible risks are minimized, public and consumer engagement remains strong, and the potential benefits of these new technologies are realized.

It’s great to have more effort going into this. The two organizations are complimentary rather than competitive: PEN has a nearer-term focus (mostly nanomaterials), Foresight’s is longer-term (mostly nanosystems). PEN’s funding is more centralized (Pew Charitable Trusts); Foresight is membership-based, funded by the general public. We hope and expect to see many more organizations of both types participating as the field develops. —Christine

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