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Posted: Jun 13, 2011
Institute of Nanotechnology creates lines of communication for public dialogue in the NanoChannels Project
(Nanowerk News) In one of the biggest nano-related public engagement exercises ever implemented, the Institute of Nanotechnology has now published online surveys in seven languages and is launching focus groups as part of the EC-funded NANOCHANNELS project. The project partners convened in a two-day intensive workshop at EuroNanoForum 2011, Budapest, to plan the next stages of a dynamic programme of communication, dialogue, and engagement in issues of nanotechnology (NT) aimed at European citizens.
The main thrust of the NANOCHANNELS project is to provide stakeholders and the lay public with opportunities to engage in debate about nanotechnology innovation, applications, risks, ethical, legal and societal aspects through online and live forums, social networks, print media, radio, and a high-profile round table discussion organized by The Guardian newspaper. The overarching aim is to build trust and achieve a social consensus in the development and implementation of nanotechnology. Achieving these objectives will enable the partners to deliver sound recommendations to the European Commission concerning governance and best practice for communication of nanotechnology issues within the European Union.
Speaking at the NanoChannels workshop at EuroNanoForum 2011, Mark Morrison, CEO of the Institute of Nanotechnology, said: 'This is one of the largest projects ever to examine the issues faced by all sectors of the wider public through specially designed tools of engagement. Not only will the project enable us to gauge public opinion, it will also inform us of the tools that prove to be the most effective for communication within specific sectors. These dialogue tools can then be adopted to help build public consensus on advanced technologies and inform European Union policy.'