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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Experts warn that misconceptions about "grey goo" could harm the opportunities of the poor in developing countries, 20.9.05

Institute of Physics

Dr Peter Singer, Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and Dr Erin Court, the lead author of this report, argue that concerns over the legitimate risks of nanotechnology should be addressed through a new international process and not by resorting to a moratorium on research that promises vast improvement in the lives of five billion people in developing countries.

This report outlines for the first time the health, environmental and economic benefits for developing countries of nanotechnology (NT). These include:

  • improved detection of cancer and HIV/AIDS by tagging biological molecules with nanometer-sized markers, avoiding in the process many drawbacks associated with organic dyes conventionally used to mark cells;
  • improved detection of tuberculosis with quantum dot optical biosensors. Development plans for a nanotech-based diagnostic kit to reduce the cost, time and the amount of blood required for TB tests was recently announced in India;
  • inexpensive miniaturized medical diagnostic devices easily used in remote regions;
  • more controlled and targeted administration of vaccinations using nanoparticle delivery systems;
  • the ability to repair skeletal tissue damaged by traffic accidents, the so-called "unseen epidemic" of developing countries, using nanotech-based bone scaffolds;
  • better monitoring of soil and crop toxicity levels through enzyme biosensors;
  • improved water purification technologies;
  • more effective clean-up of large oil spills.

    [...] The authors highlight the following concerns:

  • How long will nanomaterials remain in the environment?
  • How readily will nanomaterials bind to environmental contaminants?
  • Will these particles move up through the food chain and what will be their effect on humans?
  • How will the incorporation of artificial materials into human systems affect health, security and privacy?
  • Who will control the means of production and who will get to debate the risks and benefits
  • ? What will be the effects of military and corporate control over NT?

    There are also potential risk management issues specific to developing countries:

  • displacement of traditional markets,
  • the imposition of foreign values,
  • the fear that technological advances will be extraneous to development needs, and
  • the lack of resources to establish, monitor and enforce safety regulations.

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    "We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
    Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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