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September 18th, 2007
Not enough talk about ethics and nanosciences
This is all very well but what are the main ethical dangers posed by nanoscience and nanotechnologies? The Commission does not want to go there at all and makes no serious mention. Web hunting, however, throws up some sinister applications including dramatic improvements in surveillance devices, new weaponry as the basis for "nano-terrorism" and still-to-be-understood environmental impacts of such things as "fullerenes" and "carbon nanotubes". And how acceptable will technologies such as implantable cells and sensors be to most of us?
When it eventually produces its Code of Conduct, I hope the Commission will help us to understand whether and how it will help to build a few defences against the perverse use of these new technologies.
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