8 Nanotechnologies and Society in Europe

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Geoffrey Hunt

Introduction

European Union (EU) policy development in nanotechnology over the past five years shows an uneasy relation between the demands of politics and business and a commitment to a sustainable and responsible approach, with its characteristic emphasis on precaution. Strong in creative technical ideas and in public awareness of environmental and public health issues, and lacking either the kind of integrated mobilization of resources for nanotechnology we find in the USA or the more centralized approach of Japan, European Union (EU) policy finds itself hampered by problems of political, infrastructural and financial integration. In the EU (which now comprises 25 nations) ...

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