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Spring 2004 Gathering

Foresight Institute Press Policy

Foresight Institute is a non-profit organization committed to the safe development of molecular nanotechnology and other emerging technologies which may be used to improve the human condition. We hold two different types of meetings each year. One is our technical conference, typically held late in the year. The other is our Senior Associate Gatherings, which are held in the spring.

Foresight works closely with journalists year-round, providing orientation, pointers to experts, and free registration to our technical conference. The technical conference has no restrictions with regard to publishing of the content presented at the meeting, though copyrights or trademarks must be protected. Interviews with presenters may be arranged upon request.

In contrast, the Senior Associate Gatherings are brainstorming-style meetings held for Foresight donors. These events are "off-the-record" for press coverage; we request that attendees not publish coverage of event content. (Journalists are welcome to attend, but they first join Foresight as Senior Associates and register as usual.)

It's a great place to get background, however, and many participants are happy to give interviews on the side, as long as such "on-the-record" conversations are clearly demarcated.

Reasons for this selective "off-the-record" policy include:

  • Participants are encouraged to explore controversial issues, often testing out positions they will soon abandon. This exploration would be greatly inhibited by the anticipation of press coverage of intermediate positions;
  • Even with considerable care, it's hard to keep these controversial issues from being accidentally taken out of context;
  • Many participants hold spokesperson roles in their organizations, so their personal views are likely to be misinterpreted as the organizations' official positions, regardless of how clearly they are identified otherwise.

We've been told that press members find substantial benefit in attending without doing formal coverage — they are able to participate fully in the event, without having to continually distance themselves from the process and play the role of observer.

Members of the press are encouraged to join as full participants and as Senior Associates, registering for the Senior Associate events using the standard process.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community!

Spring 2004 Gathering

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