THE MEANING OF GEOETHICAL
"Geoethical" means widely agreed-upon principles for guiding the application of technologies that can have a general environmental (including people) impact, much like bioethical principles (autonomy, beneficence, nonfeasance, justice) guide the application of curative technologies that specifically impact one or more patients. Bioethics concerns the ethical questions that arise in the relationships between biology, medicine, cybernetics, politics, law, philosophy, and theology -- essentially, the interactions between human life and technology. Geoethical nanotechnology goes one step further, concerning ethical relationships between nanosciences/technologies and the earth, the biosphere, and ultimately the cosmos.
PURPOSES OF THE WORKSHOP
First, to provide the public with informed perspectives regarding geoethical nanotechnology via audio/video webcast (including transcripts) of expert presentations, challenges and discussions. The workshop was presented live on the web, and within a few days will be available for downloading.
Second, to develop a set of geoethical guidelines that will provide a "safe harbor" within which responsible nanotechnology can develop.
The Workshop on Geoethical Nanotechnology was sponsored by the Terasem Movement Foundation. Martine Rothblatt endowed the sponsor to encourage earth to move forward with curative GRAIN (Genomics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology) technologies.
Based on her experience in implementing new world-changing technologies, Martine believes that publicly accessible information and reasonable regulatory controls are essential to overcome resistance to technological change. She was previously responsible for co-founding the first non-governmental international satellite communications system (PanAmSat), launching the global vehicle tracking industry (Geostar), creating the satellite sound broadcasting alternative to shortwave (WorldSpace) and founding/running a major satellite-to-car digital radio company (Sirius Satellite Radio).
Martine also represented the Radio Astronomy quiet band interests of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Radio Frequencies and led the International Bar Association's effort to provide the United Nations with a draft Human Genome Treaty. In 1996 she formed United Therapeutics, a NASDAQ-traded biotech company with FDA-approved therapies for pulmonary disease, advanced clinical trials in oncology, and one of the world's largest telemedicine networks.
CRN was pleased to participate in this workshop. We anticipate making further progress in developing geoethical guidelines for responsible nanotechnology through consultation with workshop attendees.