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LORD SAINSBURY OUTLINES GOVERNMENT PLANS FOR THE SAFE AND ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT OF NANOTECHNOLOGIES

 

 London, 25 February/GNN/ --

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY News Release (Reference P/2005/066) issued by the Government News Network on 25 February 2005
Ensuring the safe and ethical development of new technologies so that
their benefits can be rapidly gained is a priority for the Government, Lord
Sainsbury, Science and Innovation Minister, said today at the launch of the
Science Museum's new nanotechnology exhibition.

Lord Sainsbury set out the Government's response to the Royal Society and
Royal Academy of Engineering joint report on nanotechnology, and outlined
the work and research programme that the Government will undertake to ensure
the safe and ethical use of nanotechnologies. This includes:

* a review of current safety regulations to make sure that safeguards for
people's health and the environment remain robust; and

* a new cross Government group to co-ordinate all aspects of research into
nanoscience to underpin safety assessments.

The DTI's new Sciencewise scheme will also lead the way in establishing
public dialogue to help the scientific community and the public to explore
issues relating to the regulation of nanotechnologies. The first projects
will be announced shortly.

Lord Sainsbury said:

"The UK needs safety and regulatory systems that address public aspirations
and concerns and which command public confidence during the development
of nanotechnologies.

"People in this country have a positive view of the benefits of science but
are concerned that with the rapid development of new technologies, Government
does not have time to put in place any necessary new regulations. Starting
at an early stage with nanotechnology, we will be able to ensure the safe
and ethical development of this major scientific area of research, which is
likely to bring important benefits to people in many different fields."

The new nanotechnology exhibition at the National Science Museum,
"Nanotechnology - small science, big deal" is sponsored by the DTI and aims
to explain the emerging technology in a clear and unambiguous way.


Source: DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY


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