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Communication and Debate

Nanotechnology is likely to change our lives in many ways. It is important that nanotechnology is developed in a responsible way – in a way that responds to the needs and concerns of the citizens. An open debate involving the public is indispensable. This will allow a shared analysis of benefits and risks (both real and perceived) and their implications for society. Providing accessible information will allow people to better understand what nanotechnology is, how it will be applied, and its implications for society. Interested people must be enabled to reach their own informed and independent judgements.

The Commission's efforts towards an informed dialogue

In order to inform the public about nanotechnology, the European Commission has published two films and a brochure . In addition, the European Commission publishes a series of leaflets explaining important areas of EU nanotechnology research. Amongst them: Responding to societal needs . Two projects are funded that explore the ethical, legal and social aspects of nanotechnology: Nanologue and Nano Dialogue . Diverse calls for proposals within the upcoming 7th Framework Programme in the Theme NMP and the Science in Society Programme address ethical, legal and societal aspects of nanotechnology as well as risk assessment and communication.

Report on European activities in the field of ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) and governance of nanotechnology

This report presents figures on EC funding and a short description of all EC funded projects in the field, other activities related to information and outreach, ethics and governance on EU level, and examples of national activities in Europe, 1 October 2008

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How to participate in the public debate?

Everybody is invited to comment and discuss via the email: (email removed) . If you need more information about different subareas of nanotechnology research or you have comments, please address the nanotechnology contact persons at the European Commission .

After the publication of the European strategy for nanotechnology on 12th May 2004, an open consultation has been carried out. The results were published on 17th December 2004 by Nanoforum.

Integrating the societal dimension and addressing expectations and concerns are an important element of the European strategy for nanotechnology and of the nanotechnology Action Plan .

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