This briefing paper from the US Pacific Research Institute explores three potential regulatory frameworks for nanotechnology: prohibiting it, limiting it to military applications, and regulating research into civilian applications.

It says an outright ban is unworkable and restricting its use to military applications would deny humanity of many of its potential benefits.

The paper therefore concludes that a combination of modest regulation, research into applications that are of interest to civilians, and the promotion of self-regulation, is they best way to harness nanotechnology's benefits whilst minimising risk. It examines the benefits and applications of such a system in the context of research, use and export, and of professional ethics and inherent safety.


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