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Home > Press > Nanotechnology: Ethical and Legal Issues

A Conference Sponsored by NSTS at the University of South Carolina 2-6 March 2005

Nanotechnology: Ethical and Legal Issues

A Conference Sponsored by NSTS at the University of South Carolina 2-6 March 2005

Developments in nanotechnology provide the basis for a convergence of the physical and life sciences, including biomedicine, information technology, and cognitive science. Emerging technologies include highly functional molecular systems, alternative manufacturing processes, molecular computing, brain/machine interfaces, tissue engineering, and recombinant genetic alterations of viral, plant, and animal systems. Virtually all areas of human life may be transformed, and these transformations will likely involve both great benefit and great risk. In this conference we explore the ethical and legal issues raised by nanotechnology and the larger convergence of technologies, including reflections on:

  • toxicity of nanoparticles
  • environmental sustainability & remediation
  • human/machine interfaces
  • human enhancements
  • convergence of NBIC
  • privacy and security
  • legal and ethical theories for nano
  • government regulation
  • scientific integrity and liberty
  • tech transfer, patenting and insurance liability
  • military use of nanotechnology
  • nanomedicine
  • the nano-divide
  • international and developing world needs

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Mihail Roco, Senior Advisor of the National Science Foundation
  • Vicki Colvin, Director of CBEN at Rice University

We expect an international audience, and invite papers and posters from speakers in all areas of research related to the conference topic. Please submit an abstract of 200-500 words. Deadline is 1 December 2004; we would appreciate earlier emails from those interested in submitting abstracts so we can plan the size of the conference. Send inquiries and abstracts by email attachment in Word, Rich Text Format, or pdf to:

George Khushf, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208, USA
TEL: (803) 777-7371.

The conference is supported in part by a NIRT grant from the National Science Foundation.

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