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Nano Technology – Small particles, big risks?

Nanoscience as key technology

Nanoscience represents a key enabling technology for the future with great expectations in technology and medicine. This further extends to strategies on demand for improved sustainability of materials and reduced energy consumption required for their entire life cycle.

Communicating risk

Possible hazards and risks associated with nanotechnology are an on-going concern of policy-makers, media and the public. Scientists need to respond to this with full and transparent communication. Risks and uncertainties have to be addressed based on scientific understanding and known hazards. Potential risks have to be put into contexts that are useful for wider audiences.

We present here some general guidelines for communicating risks involving nanotechnologies, based on a workshop developed at the University of Salzburg.