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Foresight Update 51

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A publication of the Foresight Institute


Foresight Update 51 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5

 

 

Challenge Amount Raised

Thanks to a timely donation from the Internet Science Education Project, along with other generous donations from many Foresight members, we are happy to announce that the entire Winter 2002/2003 Challenge amount has been raised.

 

Congressional Testimony

Foresight president Christine Peterson testified on societal implications of nanotechnology for the U.S. House Science Committee on April 9 at 10 AM in room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Testimony is available on the committee web site: Hearing Charter | Chairman Boehlert | Ray Kurzweil | Vicki Colvin | Langdon Winner | Christine Peterson. See also Nanodot story.
 

 

Regulating Nanotechnology

Public education and rational discussion needed

by Jim Lewis

What role for government regulation?

What role will government regulation play in guiding the emergence of nanotechnology? A serious study of some possibilities was released November 20, 2002 by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the principles of limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. Authored by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, professor of law at the University of Tennessee and member of the Foresight Institute Board of Directors, "Forward to the Future: Nanotechnology and Regulatory Policy" can be downloaded at http://www.pacificresearch.org/pub/sab/techno/forward_to_nanotech.pdf as a 26-page, 228-KB PDF file.

In a press release found at http://www.pacificresearch.org/press/rel/2002/pr_02-11-20.html Sonia Arrison, director of PRI's Center for Technology Studies, said "Nanotechnology holds much promise, but it has come under suspicion in some quarters because of the revolutionary changes it can bring. It is such an exciting area of research that the time has come to make a principled argument against misguided regulation that would stymie its growth."

Reynold's paper makes a solid case that bans and heavy regulation are not good ideas. From the executive summary:

"Based on experience with other regulated technologies ranging from atomic energy to recombinant DNA, this paper concludes that a regime of modest regulation, civilian research, and an emphasis on self-regulation and a responsible professional culture offers the greatest prospects for reaping nanotechnology's benefits while minimizing any risks."

Reynolds summarizes what can be expected from nanotechnology, along the lines originally described in Engines of Creation. Noting that interest in regulating a technology with such "dramatic societal implications" can be expected, and that anti-technology activists have already targeted nanotechnology, he considers regulatory responses ranging "from complete prohibition, to permissible use only in military programs, to moderate regulation, to a near laissez-faire regime."

After describing the call by Bill Joy for "relinquishment" of nanotechnology (see Update 41 "Oh, Joy! A Media Watch Special Report"), which would imply prohibiting research and development, Reynolds explains why such an approach "cannot possibly work ... as much because of the potential hazards of nanotechnology as in spite of them." This would be the case even if the ban were "comprehensive and draconian." Because so much of science and technology is now focused on manipulating matter on the nanometer scale, attempts to proscribe research and development would have to "target everything from high-precision chip manufacture to many aspects of biotechnology, creating enormous barriers to progress across a wide range of fields." Further, nanotechnology research uses inexpensive and inconspicuous tools that would be easy to conceal. Efforts at prohibition might prevent most nanotechnology research, but allow a few underground projects in rogue states to succeed, thus giving those states a monopoly on a powerful technology.

Reynolds thus concludes: "The prohibitionist approach is unlikely to be adopted. The drawbacks are too great, the advantages too few, and the difficulties too involved. It is also unlikely to attract many advocates beyond the anti-technology movement."

Reynolds then considers attempts to classify most nanotechnology work to make private research very difficult and thus keep the results in the military sphere. Noting the numerous and important ways in which nanotechnology could provide overwhelming military superiority (see, for example, Update 6), Reynolds references government efforts to restrict knowledge of atomic weapons technology and encryption technology. Although such restrictions could be applied to nanotechnology, the technology produced would necessarily be less thoroughly tested and therefore less robust, less reliable, and more prone to bugs than civilian technology openly developed. These are similar to the reasons "why 'open source' software is generally more reliable and robust than proprietary 'closed source' software." Further, because nanotechnology will have dramatic civilian applications, such as cures for cancer and aging, a military monopoly could give Pentagon bureaucrats "the ability to offer political supporters access to secret age-reversing treatments or disease cures." Reynolds points out that the fears of such things happening "would be almost as destructive to democracy as the reality."


 
    "The prohibitionist approach is unlikely to be adopted. The drawbacks are too great, the advantages too few, and the difficulties too involved."    
    — Glenn Harlan Reynolds    
 

Searching for a more plausible model for the regulation of nanotechnology, Reynolds turns to biotechnology. Initial concerns that recombinant DNA experiments might be dangerous led to a series of conferences in which leading scientists agreed on issues that required more attention, culminating in a moratorium on certain experiments until detailed guidelines were developed for how such experiments could be safely done. The guidelines later became government regulations that were modified over time as the danger was shown to be less than initially expected. "The DNA experience suggests that a combination of self-regulation and government coordination can answer legitimate safety concerns while allowing research to flourish."

Drawing from the recombinant DNA experience, Reynolds considers the equivalent of physical containment and biological containment, such as providing essential parts of the replicators' blueprints externally and making replication depend on substances not found in the natural environment. To make deliberate abuse less likely, he emphasizes professional ethics and inherent safety (encrypted genomes, audit trails for software, etc.).

Reynolds warns that regulations do not always work as intended. "Regulators must exercise as much care against unintended consequences as scientists because regulation leads to Frankenstein results more often than does science." For example, overregulation can produce a patchwork of severe controls in some areas and none in others because the burden of enforcing uniform severe regulations would strain regulators as well as industry. Likewise, requiring industry to use the best available technology eliminates incentives to innovate. The "Foresight Guidelines on Molecular Nanotechnology" (http://www.foresight.org/guidelines/) are considered in detail as an attempt to apply the biotechnology regulation experience to nanotechnology. "These principles are only a start but they do point the way toward a promising approach that will avoid the dangers of prohibition, and the political difficulties of a laissez-faire regime."

Reynolds concludes that the best model for nanotechnology regulation will combine self-regulation with a professional culture that emphasizes responsibility.

"Experience with recombinant DNA indicates that early concerns about safety are likely to be overblown, and that an effective regulatory regime can be based on a combination of consensus and self-regulation. Though there are likely to be some calls for a complete ban on nanotechnology, such a ban is certain to fail, and its unworkability means that such calls will probably come mostly from anti-technology groups that command little political support. Similarly, efforts to limit nanotechnology to military applications are likely to face technical and political hurdles as knowledge diffuses and the public seeks access to potentially life-saving technologies."

"...Sound knowledge, calm reflection, and an aversion to media hysteria will be key requirements of those dealing with a new and highly technical subject with endless implications."

UPI's Scott Burnell ["Nano research should study consequences" Nov. 20, 2002] uses Reynolds's paper as the lead to consider the efforts of nanotechnology researchers to study the consequences of nanotechnology. He quotes PRI's Arrison, "Before all this comes to a head in (congressional hearings), we wanted to ensure a discussion would take place in public. Groups come up and say nanotechnology is the end of the world, and we want to be able to counter them with this paper; our long-term strategy is simply going to be rational education." Burnell says Reynolds recommends that the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative needs to devote more funding to public discussion of societal concerns. "The time to codify principles of acceptable behavior is now, he said, before public opinions on the matter harden into intractable lobbying positions."

Vicki Colvin [see Update 50], director of Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology in Houston, is reported by Burnell to believe that the one-half of 1 percent of the NNI budget devoted to considering nanotech's environmental and health effects is not enough.

"Much more data on these issues is needed to prevent the discipline's 'wow' factor from decaying into a publicly perceived 'yucky' idea, she [Colvin] told a panel discussion Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. Obtaining such information now will be much easier than in the face of future, possibly uninformed public outcry, she told the group..."

"... Failure to perform such work and keep the public and lawmakers informed would leave nanotech vulnerable to the same factors that led to genetically modified foods being labeled 'Frankenfood' by environmentalists, said Julia A. Moore, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Frequent and open hearings and other government meetings on the issue will help the public understand nanotech's usefulness, which should also engender their trust, she said."


 
    "Sound knowledge, calm reflection, and an aversion to media hysteria will be key requirements of those dealing with a new and highly technical subject with endless implications."    
    — Glenn Harlan Reynolds    
 

Arguments and issues

Recently published papers address possible effects of nanotechnology upon the environment and health, upon disarmament and security, and upon equity in wealth distribution and access to technology, and include calls for bans and moratoria as well calls for public education and discussion.

Besides Bill Joy's call for "relinquishment" of nanotechnology discussed by Reynolds (see above), the ETC Group [see Update 50] issued a call for governments to "declare an immediate moratorium on commercial production of new nanomaterials and launch a transparent global process for evaluating the socio-economic, health and environmental implications of the technology." Although enthusiastically endorsing the need for more health and environmental studies of nanomaterials, most nanotechnologists condemned the proposed blanket moratorium as unwarranted and counterproductive.


 
    "...our long-term strategy is simply going to be rational education."    
    — Sonia Arrison, PRI    
 

More recently the ETC Group, which describes itself as "dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights," has published an 84-page manifesto titled The Big Down (http://www.etcgroup.org/documents/TheBigDown.pdf 668 KB PDF file). The document is subtitled "Atomtech: technologies converging at the nano-scale". They coin the term "atomtechnologies" to refer to "a spectrum of techniques involving the manipulation of molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles to produce materials," and also invoke the convergence of biotechnology, informatics, robotics and cognitive science, along the lines of the NSF NBIC Converging Technologies report (see Update 49).

Although mixing nanotechnology and nuclear technology is not helpful and seriously confuses the debate ("Atomtech could also mean the creation and combination of new elements" p. 7), they do provide a readable and useful overview of nanotechnology. And they do get right the important concept that "nanotechnology" can have different meanings in different discussions, spanning the range from current and near future nanoscale technologies, such as nanoparticles for industrial coatings, to predictions of a future molecular manufacturing technology that is often dismissed by some as "the aberrant visions of 'fringe futurists.'" Consequently they take a much broader view here of the implications of nanotechnology than in their earlier call for preventing possible chemical pollution arising from bulk production of novel nanostructured materials.

The Big Down briefly recounts that the Renaissance, the rise of capitalism, and the industrial revolution brought an enormous increase in wealth in Europe, but left most peasants arguably less well-off than they had been a few generations earlier. They see this same trend persisting throughout at least 550 years of technology development, to the present day. "In every case, technologies have piggybacked on government in order to gain consumer acceptance and market monopoly. In every case, at least initially, the poor and marginalized have suffered." Thus, on page 10:

"The issue of ownership and control of this all-pervasive technology is paramount. Who will control the products and processes of Atomtech? Like the industrial revolutions that have preceded it, will we see a decline in the well being of poor people and increased disparity between rich and poor? Nano-scale manipulation in all its forms offers unprecedented potential for sweeping monopoly control of elements and processes that are fundamental to biological function and material resources."

Therefore the ETC Group wants to know more about how "atomtech" will work in practice. "While the potential to develop environmentally friendly and inexpensive products and processes is enormous, we do not know enough about the socio-economic, health or environmental implications of Atomtech—present or future." And specifically, "... the evaluation of powerful new technologies requires broad social discussion and preparation. Society must be informed and empowered to participate in decisionmaking about emerging technologies."

Further issues raised by the ETC with respect to the development of molecular manufacturing and nanomedicine include the potential erosion of dissent and diversity as surveillance becomes ubiquitous and "enhancement" and "self-improvement" might become mandatory. They also raise the specter of "Green Goo," life forms modified for military or industrial purposes.

Whatever their misgivings about lack of government regulation and social oversight of nanotechnology, the ETC is definitely bullish on the economic prospects of "Atomtech":

"By 2005, Atomtech will attract more interest (and controversy) than biotech. By 2010, Atomtechnologies will be the determining factor to profitability in virtually every sector of industrial economies. By 2015, the controllers of Atomtech will be the ruling force in the world economy."

The crux of the objections of the ETC to nanotechnology does not appear to involve any unalterable, intrinsic properties of the technology, but rather that those who are currently politically and economically powerful will monopolize the benefits:

"As with biotech, it is theoretically possible that, in a just and gentle world, Atomtech could have a role to play. In the absence of such a world—as ever—the control of the technology will accrue to those with power and the commercialization of the technology will inevitably give them greater monopoly control. ... It is myopic and naïve for Atomtech advocates to claim that a technology that the poor cannot control will somehow be used for their benefit."

Given that ETC recognizes the potential value of nanotechnology and desires wide and equitable access to the benefits thereof, it seems strange that they move toward banning nanotechnology rather than discussing how to insure that all benefit from the technology. Perhaps the issue here is that the ETC appears to demand that all risks be removed before any technology is developed. The ETC applies the "Precautionary Principle" to require proof that nanotechnology is risk-free prior to research and development. [According to The Big Down, "The Precautionary Principle says that governments have a responsibility to take preventive action to avoid harm to human health or the environment, even before scientific certainty of the harm has been established."] This extreme caution is exemplified by their proposal, reported in Update 50, for a moratorium on commercial production of new nanomaterials.

Applying the principle of extreme caution to molecular manufacturing, they arrive at an even more extreme proposal. "In the future, the specter of molecular manufacturing poses enormous environmental and social risks and must not proceed—even in the laboratory—in the absence of broad societal understanding and assessment." How will it be possible to obtain "broad societal understanding and assessment" until there has been enough theoretical and laboratory work to convince a broad segment of society that molecular manufacturing is coming and should be discussed? This proposal would effectively constitute an attempt at a complete ban on the development of molecular manufacturing—which would fail, yielding control to opposed powers.

Philip Shropshire has written a concise critique of The Big Down entitled "The Big Letdown". He concludes, "A thorough report on nanotechnology, The Big Down is required reading. But it completely misses the biggest threat to the future: Democratic rot." Citing examples in which special interests have corrupted the democratic process to the detriment of new technologies, Philip Shropshire explains why the ETC is attacking the wrong targets in pursing a desirable outcome, and why open source development is a much better way to achieve the goals ETC desires.

"We can't address the risks with bans. What we need to do is fix our broken democracies and give the technologies to the people."

"... A more promising goal might be for us to encourage the founders of nanotechnology, at work as we speak, to opt for open source development."

"...Now, you won't be able to stop the future—for better or worse, a 300-year lifespan and a tripling of IQs is coming. But the upside for The Big Down folks is that open sourcing Singularity-level technologies would give us more choice in not only how we use them, but how they use us."

For more discussion of open source development for nanotechnology, see "Open Sourcing Nanotechnology Research and Development: Issues and Opportunities" by Bryan Bruns.

In a NY Times article, "From Nanotechnology's Sidelines, One More Warning," Barnaby J. Feder covers the response of part of the nanotechnology community—including Foresight president Christine Peterson—to the latest effort of the ETC Group to "generate alarm among the global network of social, labor and environmental groups."

Barnaby Feder advises against dismissing the ETC Group as an easily ignored fringe group, noting their success a few years ago in opposing the efforts of the biotech industry to create genetically modified plants with sterile seeds. He also notes that, despite the alarmist rhetoric of the ETC Group manifesto, its executive director, Pat Roy Mooney, is "more often cautiously earnest than shrill. 'We are not assuming this is an evil, awful technology,' Mr. Mooney said last week. 'I suspect quite a bit can be done that's useful.' The danger, he said, is that governments and public interest groups do not have enough control over assessing risks and setting priorities."

The reaction to the ETC Group of the nanotechnology community varies from dismissal to ambivalence. Feder reports that Mihail C. Roco, the head of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative, "dismissed ETC as 'nonscientific' and 'a group that fights against technology.'" Mr. Roco points out [quite correctly] that a moratorium on nanotechnology research and development would impede scientists from learning how nanoparticles behave, while also delaying the many health and environmental benefits of new nanoproducts and systems.

However, Mr. Feder quotes Kevin D. Ausman, executive director for operations at the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology at Rice University, as endorsing the environmental and health concerns of the ETC Group, 'ETC is the first nonscientific group to start to address the issue of toxic impact of nanomaterials,' although Ausman "expressed dismay that ETC is warning of risks he considers to be in the realm of science fiction, like green goo."

Foresight Institute is among those quoted as ambivalent about the ETC Group:

"Nanotechnology experts who have been paying closer attention to ETC and Mr. Mooney are less dismissive than Mr. Roco. 'Making fun of Pat Mooney is not the way to go here,' said Christine Peterson, co-founder and president of the Foresight Institute, nanotechnology's leading forum for discussion. 'This is a sincere, smart man who doesn't have any trouble with logic.'"

The article ends: "But Ms. Peterson, of the Foresight Institute, recalls Mr. Mooney's response when she questioned his strategy of calling for a moratorium: 'It gets people's attention.'"

Bill Joy and the ETC Group are not alone in calling for a virtual ban on the development of nanotechnology. "Nanotechnology and Mass Destruction: The Need for an Inner Space Treaty," an article written by Sean Howard and published in July - August 2002 issue of Disarmament Diplomacy, assesses the "potential development of new weapons and risks of mass destruction made possible by nanotechnology." Concluding that such weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are indeed a valid concern and need to be addressed by international arms control agreements, and noting the precedent of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which banned WMD from outer space, Sean Howard calls for "an 'inner space' treaty to protect the planet from devastation caused—accidentally, or by terrorists, or in open conflict—by artificial atomic and molecular structures capable of destroying environments and life forms from within."

Howard describes current work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies on developing materials for a lightweight battlefield 'exoskeleton' to provide soldiers with 'superhuman capabilities,' and then wonders whether such work could stop with armor or would lead to new weapons. Howard further notes that although "prominent evangelists for the new faith," including Foresight's founders, have acknowledged the potential misuse of nanotechnology by "repressive governments, high-tech militaries, or terrorist organisations," the threat of such misuse "has been largely ignored or discounted in the official decisions and statements of governments, funders, industry and academe." All of which leads Howard to consider the potential threat of out-of-control self-replicating nanodevices, "gray goo" as first described in Engines of Creation.

Howard presents "two basic options for designing a possible arms control approach to the mass-destructive potential of nanotechnology." The first option would attempt to regulate nanotechnology, producing an "Inner Space Treaty," based upon the 1967 "Outer Space Treaty," that would ban "developing, testing or deploying any atomically-engineered objects carrying nuclear, chemical, biological, or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction." Implementation issues that would need to be addressed for this option include detecting violations and drawing the line between defensive and offensive military nanotechnology. Another issue is whether he means to ban all offensive military nanotechnology, or only WMD. What about nanotechnology-enabled precision munitions designed to destroy purely military targets?

Howard's second option would completely prohibit any scientific or technological exploration of "Inner (Atomic and Molecular) Space". The problem with his analogy is that outer space is elsewhere, while inner space is everywhere and is already being explored and utilized by virtually every modern technology. Microscopes, chemistry, and molecular biology can't be banned by the stroke of a diplomat's pen.

The October–November 2002 issue of Disarmament Diplomacy carries another paper on weapons and nanotechnology, this one written by André Gsponer, entitled "From the Lab to the Battlefield? Nanotechnology and Fourth-Generation Nuclear Weapons", which supports Howard's call for an 'Inner Space Treaty' but focuses on "the existing potential of nanotechnology to affect dangerous and destabilising 'refinements' to existing nuclear weapon designs." However, this author appears to confuse nanotechnology and MEMS technology, and mainly considers the use of MEMS in microfusion bombs. Thus this paper is really about near to mid-term applications of MEMS technology to existing and new types of nuclear weapons, and not about molecular manufacturing.


 
    "...citizens want to have a say in making individual choices and the societal trade-offs related to the application of new technology and science."    
    — Julia A. Moore    
 

One approach to preventing a "gray goo" scenario of out-of-control self-replicating nanodevices was suggested by Better Humans columnist James Hughes, "Stopping Apocalypse Now". Hughes recommends a combination of build-in limitations in the technology (as covered by the Foresight Guidelines), active immune systems (as discussed in Engines of Creation), and mandatory, global regulations. The real barriers to implementing effective safeguards, according to Hughes, result from political ideology: "such efforts would threaten American nationalism and laissez-faire capitalism."

A commentary from the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, "The Future Dances on a Pin's Head," authored by Julia A. Moore, argues for setting aside a portion of nanotechnology funding to investigate the implications of the technology. Mirroring the concern of the ETC Group in one respect, Moore considers the question of how information would be used and who would own it to be crucial to how the public views an emerging technology. She draws a parallel with the mid-1980s opposition to the Human Genome Project, and notes that opposition was muted by setting aside "5% of the project's annual budget for a program to define and deal with the ethical, legal and social implications raised by this brave new world of genetics—creating one of the largest such efforts ever."

Moore argues that the public is willing to accept risk in turn for substantial benefits, especially medical benefits, but ...

"But increasingly, people want hard evidence that scientists, government and corporations have examined and addressed the potential risks associated with scientific breakthroughs and new technologies. They're looking for concrete measures aimed at building public confidence in 21st century progress.

"Such steps include governments maintaining strong oversight and regulatory systems and dealing with concern over the growing commercialization of science and financial conflicts of interest.

"Most important, citizens want to have a say in making individual choices and the societal trade-offs related to the application of new technology and science."


 
    "I don't want the science to slow down. I want the ethics to catch up."    
    — Peter Singer    
 

The authors of a paper published in the IOP journal Nanotechnology titled "'Mind the Gap': Science and Ethics in Nanotechnology," (a 284-KB PDF file) join the ETC group and others in emphasizing the importance of educating the public so that nanotechnology will be used to close the gap between rich and poor. The authors, Anisa Mnyusiwalla, Abdallah S Daar, and Peter A Singer, are affiliated with the University of Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics (JCB). A JCB press release makes clear that the report's authors are looking beyond the advances on the near horizon.

"If just a small part of what its supporters predict comes to pass, nanotechnology is going to cause a major revolution that will have a profound impact on society," said JCB director Dr. Peter A. Singer, one of the authors of the report. "It is to be expected that technology promising such massive change in our lives would be viewed with suspicion and, perhaps, outright fear. Open public discussion of the benefits and risks of this new technology is urgently needed."

"...Calls for a moratorium on deployment of nano-materials should be a wake-up call for nanotechnology developers," said study co-author Abdallah Daar. "The only way to avoid a GM foods-style confrontation is to take immediate steps to close the gap between the science and ethics of nanotechnology."

The authors of the JCB ethics paper take a long and comprehensive view of what nanotechnology will accomplish, including (according to the JCB press release) reanimating cryonic suspension patients. They do not recommend prohibition or moratoria to deal with the potential risks of nanotechnology. In other press coverage, Dr. Peter Singer, is quoted: "I don't want the science to slow down. I want the ethics to catch up." More coverage of this important paper and press reaction to it can be found in the Nanodot story at http://nanodot.org/articles/03/02/17/2346245.shtml.

A new non-profit organization was formed in December 2002 to advance the effective use of molecular nanotechnology. The Center for Responsible NanotechnologyTM (CRN), founded by Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder, envisions a world in which nanotechnology is widely used for productive and beneficial purposes, and where malicious uses are limited by effective administration of the technology. Their web site at http://www.crnano.org/ discusses important issues, such as "Who will own the technology?", "Will it be heavily restricted, or widely available?", "What will it do to the gap between rich and poor?", and "How can dangerous weapons be controlled, and perilous arms races be prevented?"

Discussing the position papers already available at the CRN Web site that address crucial policy issues in advanced nanotechnology is unfortunately beyond the scope of this article.

Public discussion of the implications of a mature molecular manufacturing technology is now rapidly developing, and many of the most important issues are on the table. Many scientists, government officials, entrepreneurs and executives involved with the rapidly emerging nanotechnology industry still dismiss many of the implications of molecular manufacturing as "science fiction." On the other hand, many activists in the environmental and disarmament communities accept those implications, but call for a ban on the development of the technology because they consider one or more of the risks to be unacceptable.

Banning the development of nanotechnology is not a viable option. This position has been firmly argued by Reynolds, and has been a central part of Foresight's position since its founding (see Engines of Creation, chapter 12, and "A Dialog on Dangers"). Despite the divergence of voices that have entered the debate, one perhaps surprisingly strong area of emerging consensus is the importance of educating the public and giving the public, including those currently disadvantaged, a voice in the conversation to ensure that the benefits of the technology are widely available. Whether or not Open Source nanotechnology is the key to obtaining the benefits of nanotechnology while avoiding the perils, the need is clear for extensive public education on the issues, followed by rational dialog between opponents and proponents of molecular manufacturing.


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Foresight Update 51 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5


From Foresight Update 51, originally published 15 April 2003.


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