Congress considers ethical, social impact of nanotechnology research
Issues in Science and Technology
Vol. 20, Num. 1
In fall 2003 debate over House and Senate bills promoting nanotechnology research and development highlighted the differences in US Congress concerning the ethical, legal and social implications (commonly referred to as ELSI) of the nanotechnology. Democratic proponents of the Senate bill proposed to elevate the ethical and societal components of the federal program by creating a specific "set-aside" of money for such research. Opponents argued that the House bill gave sufficient responsibility for defining and managing ELSI issues to the participating agencies. In 2003 it appeared that the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) might take an early lead in regulation of nanotechnology.