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Reports and publications

Public engagement on nanotechnologies

28 September 2005

The joint Royal Society - Royal Academy of Engineering report on nanotechnologies recommended that the Government initiated adequately funded public dialogue around the development of nanotechnologies.  In its response to the report the Government stated that an outline programme for public engagement on nanotechnologies would be published, followed by a more detailed programme in Autumn 2005.

The Government published its outline programme in August 2005.  The programme aims to enable the science community and public to explore their aspirations and concerns about the development of nanotechnologies. The outcomes of the dialogue should help policy makers to make decisions on the direction of research and the regulation of nanotechnologies.

The Society responded to the outline programme in a letter sent to the Office of Science and Technology.  The Society welcomes the outline programme, but comments on a number of issues including:

  • the lack of a clear method for incorporating the results of public engagement activities in policy decisions;
  • the need for comprehensive evaluation of public engagement activities;
  • the absence of any mention of social and ethical issues around nanotechnologies in the document.

 The joint Royal Society - Royal Academy of Engineering report on nanotechnologies recommended that the Government initiated adequately funded public dialogue around the development of nanotechnologies.  In its response to the report the Government stated that an outline programme for public engagement on nanotechnologies would be published, followed by a more detailed programme in Autumn 2005.