NE³LS: Science and Ethics in Nanotechnology
NE3LS is an acronym which stands for: Nanotechnology Environment,Ethics, Economics, Legal and Safety NE3LS

Nanotechnology inherently involves new materials, matter at the nano scale and processes which are new to users and regulators. The consideration of nanotechnology environment, ethics, economics, legal and safety (NE³LS) is now on the agenda for many scientific conferences. NE³LS is of importance in commercial applications and to regulators. Companies and end users must be advised on testing and regulations that are expected for the new materials. The US Environmental Protection Agency issued a nanotechnology white paper dated Dec 2, 2005 in which it provides a thorough review of its activities. Potential applications of nanotechnology raise questions related to chemical identification and characterization, environmental fate, biodegradation, detection, measurement, control and life cycle. This is a large topic and one which BC, with an active environmental sector, may well be able to provide not only discussion, but tools, measurement and characterization studies and applications relevant to protecting human health and the environment.

One of the roles of Nanotech BC will be to open dialogue with interested parties from BC’s environmental, health and safety sectors on these complex and important issues, and to encourage creation of the special expertise and services which nanotechnology and nano materials will require.

Mind the Gap
For more on the importance of ethics in Nanotechnology, you can read Mind the Gap: Science and Ethics in Nanotechnology by Anisa Mnyusiwalla, Abdallah S Daar and Peter A Singer of the University of Toronto.

More About Ethics and Nanotechnology
To read more about ethics and nanotechnology, go to the Foresight Nanotech Institute, whose mission is to ensure the beneficial implementation of nanotechnology. Founded in 1986, Foresight Nanotech Institute was the first organization to educate society about the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. Their focus is preparing society for nanotechnology, which in 1986 was a very little known science and technology.