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Several objections to stronger laws in nanotechnology considered, including business interests and self-regulation option

The Nanoethics Group to Evaluate Case for More Regulations at ICNT 2006

Nanoethics Group

Posted on October 30, 2006

The Nanoethics Group today announced that it has been invited to speak later this week at the International Congress of Nanotechnology (ICNT) in San Francisco, one of the industry’s largest global gatherings. Patrick Lin, Ph.D., research director for The Nanoethics Group, will make his presentation “Nanotechnology Bound: Evaluating the Case for More Regulation” on November 2 at 3:30 pm in the Environmental, Social, Health & Safety track of the conference.

Dr. Lin will explain the argument for stricter laws and regulations in nanotechnology as well as evaluate its initial plausibility. He will then provide analysis for five main objections to the argument, which are: (1) Other Harms objection; (2) Self-Regulation objection; (3) Status Quo objection; (4) Precautionary Principle objection; and (5) Ordinary Materials objection. His conclusion is that the “stricter law” argument seems defensible, but political realities and other resistance may require an interim or compromise solution to be implemented, perhaps until an actual victim is identified who has been harmed by nanoparticles.

“There’s understandably an increasing focus on the environmental, health and safety (EHS) impact of nanotechnology,” said Dr. Lin. “But it’s important to be careful that proposing new or stronger regulations is not just a ‘knee-jerk’ reflex ­ especially in the US where we tend to litigate and legislate our problems ­ since there are significant costs attached to them for business and society. Our presentation is designed to help untangle and evaluate the myriad claims that have been thrown out there, both for and against stricter laws.”

Held in San Francisco from October 30 to November 2, 2006, ICNT 2006 brings together leading minds in nanotechnology from all over the world, including more than 100 speakers from dozens of countries, and offers a valuable opportunity to network with top industry professionals and researchers. The event covers a broad spectrum of topics in the emerging field of nanotechnology, from the latest research and development to nanoethics to venture-capital investment and more. ICNT is the annual meeting of the International Association of Nanotechnology, a non-profit association based in Sacramento, California. For more information about ICNT 2006, please visit


About Nanoethics Group:
The Nanoethics Group is a non-partisan and independent research organization formed to study nanotechnology's impact on society and related ethical issues. As professional ethicists, we help to identify and evaluate possible harms and conflicts as well as to bring balance and common sense to the debate. Our mission is to educate and advise both organizations and the broader public on these issues as a foundation to guide policy and responsible research.

For more information, please click here.

Media Contact:
Patrick Lin, Ph.D.
Research Director
The Nanoethics Group

Copyright © Nanoethics Group

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