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July 14th, 2007
Hello and welcome to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) column at Nanotechnology Now! PEN is a joint initiative between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Our Project is dedicated to helping ensure that as nanotechnologies advance, possible risks are minimized, public and consumer engagement remains strong, and the potential benefits of these new technologies are realized. Over the past few years, PEN has collaborated with academia, government, industry, non-governmental organizations, and others to look long-term at the development of nanotechnology, to identify gaps in knowledge and regulatory processes, and to develop strategies for closing them. The Project aims to provide independent, objective knowledge and analysis that can inform critical decisions affecting the development and commercialization of nanotechnologies.
Our goal is to inform the debate and to create an active public and policy dialogue. We are not an advocate either for, or against, particular nanotechnologies. We seek to ensure that as these technologies are developed, potential human health and environmental risks are anticipated, properly understood, and effectively managed.
All research results, reports, and the outcomes of our meetings and programs are made widely available through publications, inventories, and over our website, www.nanotechproject.org. We include a wide variety of stakeholders, both domestically and internationally, in our work.
The goal of this column, "Nano Emerging," is to present commentary on the nanotechnology policymaking process and offer some new ideas about ways to engage the public, policymakers, and industry around the long-term social, economic, and political implications of nanotechnology. The hope is that these columns can help ignite an interesting and useful dialogue around nanotechnology that gets us "out-of-the-box" to think creatively about where this technology is headed and how it might be successfully managed. We will update the column every month with contributions from various people on our staff. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing your responses.
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies