Many observers believe that the “converging technologies” of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technologies, and cognitive science (NBIC) could lead to radical and pervasive enhancements of human abilities. Both supporters and critics of NBIC technologies acknowledge that their continued development and deployment portend dramatic social and cultural challenges. Stakeholders see a need for informed citizen input early in the process of developing such technologies. Indeed, the legislation that authorizes the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (P.L. 108-93) speaks to the importance of public input in decision-making about such research and development.
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