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          February 20, 2007


The Nanoethics Group to Speak at Cal/EPA Nanotechnology Symposium

March 8 event to explore health and environmental risks and regulations

SANTA BARBARA, CA – February 20, 2007 – The Nanoethics Group today announced that it has been invited to speak at the upcoming nanotechnology symposium organized by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).  Patrick Lin, Ph.D., research director for The Nanoethics Group, will make his presentation “Understanding the Debate: A Critical Look at Reasons For and Against More Regulation in Nanotechnology” on March 8, 2007 at 11:45 am at Cal/EPA in Sacramento.

Dr. Lin will explain the overarching argument for stricter laws and regulations in nanotechnology as well as evaluate its initial plausibility.  He will then provide analysis for five main objections to the argument, with a focus on the two strongest objections: (1) the Self-Regulation objection that it is better for the nano-industry to regulate itself, rather than have new rules imposed by government agencies less familiar with the industry or nanotech; and (2) the Other Harms objection that new rules would stunt the growth of a nascent nano-industry, causing economic damage and other harms.

“Regulating nanotechnology has very much been in the news in the last year, especially as notable cities such as Berkeley and Cambridge become the first to implement or consider such new rules in the US,” said Dr. Lin.  “With many confusing and opposing claims flying back and forth on this important issue, it would be valuable to take a step back and more closely examine, as well as untangle, the arguments on both sides.  We are happy to see Cal/EPA recognize the importance of this exercise to ensure that careful reasoning is not lost in this heated debate.”

The half-day symposium also will be available as a webcast and includes other prominent experts such as Andrew Maynard, Ph.D., with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Andre Nel, M.D., Ph.D., with UCLA.  The full agenda and pre-registration, which is required for on-site attendance and ends on February 23 this week, can be found at:
www.dtsc.ca.gov/TechnologyDevelopment/Nanotechnology.cfm

ABOUT US

The Nanoethics Group is a non-partisan and independent research organization formed to study nanotechnology’s impact on society and related ethical issues.  As professional ethicists, we help to identify and evaluate possible harms and conflicts as well as to bring balance and common sense to the debate.  Our mission is to educate and advise both organizations and the broader public on these issues as a foundation to guide policy and responsible research.  For more information, please visit
www.nanoethics.org.

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