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Nanotech On Trial
The Guardian Newspaper, Greenpeace, Cambridge University and Newcastle University are conducting a five-week public trial of nanotechnology. Set in England, the nano jury is comprised of 20 'randomly selected' people who will weigh evidence on nanotech's possible effects on their lives. Their verdict will consist of set of recommendations regarding nanotech research.

Why are they doing this? Winston is glad you asked. According to the Nano Jury website, the goals are

    to provide a potential vehicle for people's informed views on nanotechnology to have an impact on policy

    to facilitate a mutually educative dialogue between people with diverse perspectives and interests, including critical and constructive scrutiny of the hopes and aspirations of those working in the nanotech-related sectors by a wider group of citizens

    to explore the potential for deliberative processes to broaden discussions about nanotechnology research policy - both in terms of the range of issues and the diversity of people who are given a say
The Nano Jury has its own Oversight and Science Advisory Panel to ensure balance and accuracy of information. They are scheduled to reach a verdict in September 2005.

One good thing about a Nano Jury, they only need a very small jury room. But if it's a guilty verdict, can they find bars small enough to keep the little critters in?
  • Click for Nano Jury website.

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