Posted: June 17, 2010

ACEN launches collaborative website on societal issues raised by nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) The Citizen Alliance on the ChallEnges of Nanotechnologies (CACEN) (in French "Alliance Citoyenne sur les Enjeux des Nanotechnologies": ACEN) has just opened a new website where citizens can find and share information, questions, and analyses about societal issues raised by nanotechnologies.
Information on challenges raised by nanotechnologies
Private investments and public funding for nanotechnologies have been dramatically increasing in the last decade, giving rise to the presence of nanomaterials in many products on the market.
Meanwhile uncertainties and controversies have arisen about the definition, the usefulness, the purposes, and the risks of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.
Many stakeholders and citizens have therefore been asking for more information on societal issues raised by nanotechnologies.
In response to this need, ACEN have created this website to share information with all of you who are frustrated by the low visibility of current debates, discussions and lack of accessible information on these topics and develop perspectives and analyses of challenges raised by nanotechnology, be they health, environment, economical and geopolitical, ethical or democratic ones.
All of this information will be presented in a clear and understandable way.
A global and pluralistic approach
This website will be a place where we will gather questions and concerns about nanotechnologies that citizens and civil society want to raise, and collectively debate and resolve, even while some continue to argue that no regulation or control are possible -- because of lack of data (often protected by industry trade secrets) and/or scientific debates about definitions of "nanoparticle" and "nanomaterial," and scientific uncertainties on how to assess their toxicity, and how to adequately detect and monitor them.
The website offers a global approach on nanotechnologies, presenting the context in which they are developed, funded, and regulated (or not), by whom, and where.
It will open up the "black box" where decisions are being made, to empower civil society by offering resources on current and forthcoming actions, consultations and decision making processes.
Overall, the pluralistic approach of this website makes it unique and original: people involved in a range of environmental, health, and human rights NGOs are contributing.
ACEN would like this website to be accessible not only to French speakers but also English, Spanish, Portuguese people. ACEN would very much appreciate financial or technical support to help us complete, update, and translate this website! If you have human, financial, or technical resources that could help us, please let them know.
Source: ACEN (press release)