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Title of Talk:
Societal Implications of Nanotechnology: Benefits and Costs
Abstract of Talk:
As each new technology emerges, there are implications which often are unforeseen. Surprises tend to be at least 50% negative. Using tools such as “Total Benefit and Cost Assessment” provide mechanisms for identifying and examining the surprises in advance. This paper will report the work done by Practical Sustainability, LLC and BRIDGES to SustainabilityTM to identify and prioritize the issues surrounding the realm of nano-technology. The excitement, in particular the interest by the US federal government provides incentives for accelerating the growth of the field. Researchers actively involved in the field, have no reason raise red-flags and yet the earlier those flags are raised, the more thoroughly they can be explored. The odds of problems can reduced, the magnitude of problems can be reduced and the benefits of new technology can be maximized.