Nanotechnologies are expected to have a substantial impact on our lives in the future. However, the nanotechnology field is characterised by many uncertainties and debates surrounding the characterisation of technologies, the nature of the applications, the potential benefits and the likely risks. Given the rapid development of nanotechnologies, it is timely to consider what, if any, novel ethical challenges are posed by developments and how best to address these given the attendant uncertainties. The three articles which comprise this symposium consider the philosophical, regulatory and risk perception and communication questions that arise from this arena. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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