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November 23, 2009

EC Opens Public Consultation on the Nanotech Research Code of Conduct

Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 11, 2009, the European Commission (EC) began a public consultation to receive input from all people and organizations involved or interested in nanosciences and nanotechnologies research in Europe, including researchers, policy makers, industry, media, and civil society organizations. The EC adopted on February 7, 2008, a Recommendation for a Code of Conduct for Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies Research, followed on September 26, 2008, by Council Conclusions on Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies. Both documents suggested that the EC Recommendation and Code of Conduct should be revised after two years. The EC intends to make these revisions in February 2010, and states that the results of the consultation will contribute to that. The Code of Conduct is intended to frame future research development within a set of general principles on which member states are invited to take concrete action to ensure that nanotechnologies are developed in a safe manner. The online consultation ends on January 3, 2010.