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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Loud Starts End France's Nanotech Debates
15 January 2010 8:54 am
"Good evening, everybody." That's all Jean Bergougnoux, chair of the panel in charge of France's national debate on nanotechnology, got to say last night at a meeting in Lyon. Immediately after his opening words, some 100 people started clapping, shouting, whistling, and unfurling banners, despite Bergougnoux's protests that the protesters were "antidemocratic." A chaotic hour later, the event was canceled. The same thing had happened at a similar debate in Grenoble in December; at another one in Rennes last week, the audience was forced to leave and the discussion was webcast.
France's Special Commission for the Public Debate on Nanotechnology is organizing a 4-month discussion in 17 cities to inform the public about advances and dilemmas in nanotechnology and to give citizens a chance to express their opinion. But environmentalists dispute the legitimacy of the discussions, which they say are one-sided and a whitewash, and have decided to disrupt them wherever they can. The commission has five more debates scheduled through 23 February, the next one in Marseille on Tuesday. (Hat tip: Sylvestre Huet.)