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New 'Bio-society' website raises the profile of socio-economic research

The European Commission's Life sciences Directorate has set up a new website focusing on socio-economic research in the life sciences which launches this month at: URL: http://www.biosociety.dms.it It hopes the website will serve as a platform for the collection and dissemin...

The European Commission's Life sciences Directorate has set up a new website focusing on socio-economic research in the life sciences which launches this month at: URL: http://www.biosociety.dms.it It hopes the website will serve as a platform for the collection and dissemination of information in this field, stimulating thinking on the emerging 'Bio-society'. 'The development of new technologies and their applications raises a number of important questions regarding impact on people, society, environment and economics,' says a Commission official. The European Commission already funds efforts to study these impacts, and is particularly interested in their socio-economic dimension and public attitudes to new technologies. The website gives details on the following topics: - The Quality of Life Programme's aims and activities. This includes information on the socio-economic dimension in the Quality of Life programme and advice to applicants: - The Datastore. Information, tools and facilities to improve network exchanges between researchers, provide on-line knowledge and be a reference point for all stakeholders, including the public by providing exact and practical information on technology impact. This datastore is divided into five sections: - - An expert database containing a (growing) list of experts on bio-society issues; - - A catalogue of studies containing a list of all research programmes in the life sciences that contain relevant issues on the socio-economic impact of new technologies; - - A legislation section with the most relevant EU directives; - - The BIO-glossary - detailing about 800 technical-scientific terms on the topics with definitions and references; - - Documentation including relevant documents, reports and papers. A 'Bioforum' has also been set up to offer users the possibility of communicating directly among themselves. Links to other EU-related initiatives and Commission sites relevant to socio-economic issues in the life sciences are also provided.