The Responsible Development of Nanotechnology: Challenges and Perspectives

(Nanowerk News) The Ne3LS Network International Conference "The Responsible Development of Nanotechnology: Challenges and Perspectives" invites you to submit an abstract for presentation at the conference.
Nanotechnology is a rapidly evolving field expanding in the worldwide context of globalization. Yet no international framework has emerged for the regulation and governance of nanotechnologies. This phenomenon may be explained by several factors: diversity of nanoparticles and their properties; complexity of risk assessment; differing expectations of economic impact; strategic partnerships between universities, industry, and government; conflicting politico-economic agendas; race toward innovation and patent application; and political hesitation between public education and forums of public consultation.
The big players –USA, the European Economic Community,Japan,China– are working toward various forms of regulation and supervision, as these constitute the necessary conditions for scientific, economic, and social development of nanotechnologies. Other countries seem to have adopted a wait-and-see approach, which is often detrimental to the national development of nanotechnology, such that nano products are consequently imported and the general public remains in the dark as to matters of social, environmental and economic concern.
Furthermore, a lack of regulation and the geographic variability in rules and regulations drive the outsourcing of innovation and possibly a shift in responsibility regarding innovative development.
The aim of this international conference is to initiate thought-provoking discussion on the responsible development of nanotechnology. The conference will explore the following themes within an international and multidisciplinary framework:
  • How to assess the risks of nanotechnology, scientific, economic, social, or environmental
  • Governance: What are the responsibilities of researchers, industry, government, and the general public in the development of nanotechnologies? What is the contribution of industry to the development of standards and regulations?
  • Can responsible development of nanotechnology foster innovation and contribute to economic development?
  • What are the impacts of nanomedicine and nanohealth on the health care system?
  • How can the public be best informed and consulted on nanotechnology issues?
  • Invited speakers will address the above themes at plenary sessions.
    In addition, the international conference has issued a call for abstracts to address the following subthemes at concurrent sessions:
  • Toxicity: new methods, new concepts?
  • Occupational health and safety: how to adapt to nanotechnologies
  • What are the environmental risks?
  • Innovation and the economy and the challenges of globalization
  • Public-private partnerships in risk-sharing?
  • Nano-health: toward privatization of medical services?
  • International regulations and political issues
  • National regulatory standards: free exchange or "no data, no market"?
  • Ethics: the precautionary principle and sustainable development of nanotechnologies
  • Educate whom and how?
  • What modalities could be used for public consultation and to what end?
  • Nanofoods: can the genetically-modified food (GMO) scenario be avoided?
  • Source: Ne3LS