Senate Bill to fund ethical, social nanotech studies

from the mandating-foresight dept.
In the September 24, 2002 issue of the Nanobusiness Alliance E-News, F. Mark Modzelewski, Executive Director of the NanoBusiness Alliance, labeled the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act "the most important piece of nanotechnology legislation to date." In describing the bill, Modzelewski points out

The bill also provides $5 million per year for a new Center for Ethical, Societal, Educational, Legal and Workforce Issues Related to Nanotechnology, which will be required to track and research the societal, ethical, educational, legal and workforce issues related to nanotechnology.

Modzelewski also reports that "the legislation requires the President to establish a program to fund and coordinate basic nanoscience and engineering research among federal agencies, academic laboratories, and the private sector (puts the NNI on solid ground so its no longer just an 'initiative')." Further, the bill will fund ten new "Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Research Centers" in the range of $3 million to $5 million each year for five years, establish a National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel to advise the President and Congress on matters relating to the National Nanotechnology Program, and authorizes $476 million in fiscal year 2003 and $547 million in fiscal year 2004 to carry out this program.

Testimony (including Modzelewski's) given at the Sept. 17 Senate Committee hearing on nanotechnology is available on the web. Press releases are available on the web site of the bill's lead sponsor, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.):
Wyden Nanotechnology Bill Wins Approval in Senate Commerce Committee
Wyden, Lieberman, Allen Nanotechnology Bill Focuses U.S. Effort, Funds for "Tiny Science"
Wyden Chairs First Senate Nanotechnology Hearing

For previous nanodot coverage:
A Senator's views on Nanotech R&D, September 27, 2002
Senate Committee passes nanotech bill, September 25, 2002
Senate scrutinizes U.S. nanotech investments, September 18 2002
Bipartisan call for more US nano spending, June 01 2002

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