Hill Convenes to Discuss Risks and Rewards of Nanotechnology

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The Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus convened at a luncheon panel in the Rayburn House Office Building this past week to facilitate discussion among some of the top players in the nanotechnology industry. With the assistance of the House Science Committee, The Didion Group was able to secure the Science Hearing Room, as well as a packed audience of over 70 attendees, including legislative counsels, chiefs of staff, legislative directors, research scientists, non-profit directors, and trade media. "Since many believe the nanotechnology boom in this country is poised to become the next Industrial Revolution," said Dale Didion, president of The Didion Group, "we were happy to organize and support this briefing that brought together officials from both sides of the aisle as well as the President's nanotechnology advisor from the OSTP."

The panel consisted of three speakers, all discussing federal agencies' progress and future agendas for addressing the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology. The first speaker was Scott Walsh of Environmental Defense. Scott proposed a comprehensive three-point plan to encourage nanotechnology's success while ensuring its safety. Scott believes that in order to secure the future of nanotechnology, producers must develop stringent corporate safety standards and Congress must increase federal funding for nanomaterial risk research. When these safety standards are put into place, companies will be put on a level playing field when it comes to research, development, and innovation in the Nano industry. Other speakers including Charlie Gause of Luna NanoWorks and Michael Parr of DuPont talked about EH&S within their own companies and provided considerable insight and perspectives regarding the implementation of policies and procedures relative to a small company and a multi-national corporation. All three speakers fielded questions from the audience following the panel discussion.

The Didion Group manages the communications and public affairs activities for a number of corporations, governments, and trade and professional associations. We develop communications programs that bring national attention to organizations, improve public image, and gain community support for projects and initiatives.


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Dale Didion
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