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"There needs to be a balance between exploiting nano- technology for economic benefits and sufficiently monitoring the social impact."  

-Workshop roundtable discussion


Policy Roundtable: Nanotechnology and Society: The Organization and Policy of Innovation

May 18, 2007, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Science, Technology and Society Initiative hosted a half-day roundtable discussion on nanotechnology and society. Themes from the Roundtable were developed from the May 17, 2006 Workshop, “Nanotechnology and Society: the Organization and Policy of Innovation,” held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts

The purpose of the Roundtable Dialogue was to formalize an agenda for social science research on the emerging field of nanotechnology and identify potential topics for upcoming nanotechnology and society workshops. Support for the workshop and roundtable came from the National Science Foundation (#DMI-0531171, NSEC: Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing), the University of Massachusetts Office of the Vice Provost for Research (Research Leadership in Action Program), and the Center for Public Policy and Administration.

Prior to the Roundtable, participants were asked to consider the following guiding questions:

  1. What are the most pressing challenges for continued advancement of the nanotechnology research and policy agenda?
  2. How can governments encourage innovation and competitiveness in this emerging technological arena while at the same time safeguard the public good?
  3. What distinctive dimensions of nanotechnology need to be considered in crafting responses to these questions?

A full list of Roundtable Participants is available here.



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