NanoBioNet e. V., Centre of Excellence for Nano and Biotechnology, is organizing an international conference entitled 'SIZE MATTERS 2009: The ethical challenges facing nanotechnology.' The event will be held on 17 and 18 June 2009 in the Festival Hall of the Saarbrücker Schloss.
Throughout the two days internationally renowned experts will be presenting an overview of the fields of application and potentiali-ties of nanotechnology and discussing the ethical issues involved.
The event is under the patronage of Peter Müller, Minister-President of Saarland. You can find further information on our conference website www.sizematters2009.de, where you can also register your partici-pation.
Individual existence and society in a nano future
Nanotechnology is considered by numerous experts to be one of the most fascinating and exciting high technologies of our age - all the more so exciting because it raises several questions of an ethical dimension: How is ‘nano' changing our coexistence, our work and consumer environment? And to what extent are we prepared to accept such change?
The subject matter of the conference is divided into four sets of issues:
- Naturalness - How is nanotechnology changing human beings?
Can nanomachines become components of the human body and thus ‘improve' it? Will nanomedicine allow us to live longer and better lives? And who is to pay for this high-tech medicine?
- Reality and vision - Nano between fact and fiction?
Will self-organizing nanorobots become beneficial miniature workers or a form of competition?
- Distributive justice - High tech for everybody?
Who should actually benefit from the nano blessings? - Only the wealthy? - Only the rich industrial nations?
- Regulation - At what point should the state or international community become involved in the development of tech-nology?
Does the state have the right or even the obligation to control access to knowledge? What is left of ‘informational self-determination' in the era of nanotechnology? Do we need and do we want ‘nanosoldiers' for the wars of the future?
In brief: What is possible, what is probable, what is desirable and what not? The debate will be conducted from the perspective of the natural sciences and medicine, philosophy and theology, the history and sociology of science, and also the economy and law.
NanoBioNet is organizing SIZE MATTERS 2009 in collaboration with cc-NanoChem, Forum nano, Saarland University, the Leibniz Insti-tute for New Materials (INM) and the Institute for Science and Ethics (IWE), Bonn.