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Posted: April 22, 2008
Nanotechnology expert will highlight hurdles to government oversight and gaining public trust
(Nanowerk News) Without an improved
governance structure, the benefits of nanotechnology may be difficult to
fully realize because the public will not trust the cutting-edge
technology, says David Rejeski, director of the Project on Emerging
Nanotechnologies (PEN). Rejeski testifies on Thursday, April 24, before the
Senate subcommittee on technology and innovation.
"Public trust is the 'dark horse' in nanotechnology's future," states
Rejeski in his testimony. "If government and industry do not work to build
public confidence in nanotechnology, consumers may reach for the 'No-Nano'
label in the future and investors will put their money elsewhere. Public
perceptions about risks -- real and perceived -- can have large economic
impacts. For example, the European Union's ban on genetically modified
foods, driven largely by public concerns, cost American farmers an
estimated $300 million annually in lost sales and much more in products
that never made it to the marketplace."
Congressional lawmakers are currently discussing amendments to and
reauthorization of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research & Development
Act, which helps sets the roadmap for the annual $1.5 billion federal
spending on nanotechnology research that is vital to ensuring the
What: Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee Subcommittee on
Science, Technology and Innovation hearing "National Nanotechnology
Initiative: Charting the Course for Reauthorization"
When: April 24, 2008, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Russell Senate Office Building Room 253, Washington, DC
Who: David Rejeski directs the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. For
the past eight years, he has also been the Director of the
Foresight and Governance Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He
has held various positions at the White House Council on
Environmental Quality (CEQ), the White House Office of Science and
Technology (OSTP), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He sits on the advisory boards of a number of organizations,
including EPA's Science Advisory Board. He has graduate degrees in
public administration and environmental design from Harvard and