Dialogue is a key element in developing new technologies. Opportunities and risks have to be discussed and ways have to be found to safely and sensibly handle new technologies.
Various dialogue-based events involving the public, industry, academia and the authorities have taken place in Switzerland and internationally. Some of these dialogue forums are listed and described below. You will find the relevant documentation under “Documents” or “Links”.
Dialogue-based events in Switzerland
Nanotechnology from the consumer's viewpoint:
In 2010 and 2011, a total of 103 interviews were conducted with consumers as part of a study supported by the Federal Office of Public Health. The interview questions focused on people's level of knowledge, their assessment of the risks and opportunities, and the need for information about nanotechnology.
Dialogue-based event on consumer information:
In 2009 the Federal Office of Public Health invited consumer organisations, industry, retailers and public authorities to take part in a dialogue. The intention was to find ways of providing the public with transparent, comprehensible information about nanotechnology and its uses. The event demonstrated that the public want to be told which products contain nanomaterials. They would like easy-to-understand, neutral information on the uses of nanomaterials and their safety, and want the declaration of nanoproducts to be introduced in coordination with the EU.
Centre for Technology Assessment (TA-SWISS):
As a centre of excellence for the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, TA-SWISS held a "publifocus" event on "Nanotechnology and what it means for health and the environment" in 2006. The aim was to obtain an initial assessment of the participants’ acceptance, wishes and reservations with respect to nanotechnology and to identify any unanswered questions.
International dialogue-based events
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM):
The objective of SAICM, which involves the member countries of the United Nations, is to promote the safe use of chemicals. At the Second International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2) in May 2009, nanotechnology and synthetic nanomaterials were included on the agenda for the first time. The focus here is on exchanging information with developing and emerging nations.
Considerations on information needs for nanomaterials in consumer products:
Discussion of a labelling and reporting scheme for nanomaterials in consumer products in the EU, April 2014
BASF's Nano Dialogue Forum:
At this forum, which was held during 2011 and 2012, consumers' needs for information on nanoproducts were discussed and recommendations developed on how to increase transparency on nanomaterials in products.
International Nano-Authorities Dialogue
The International Nano-Authorities Dialogue, which was first held in Munich in 2006, is a transnational platform on the safe and sustainable use of nanotechnology. Its members are the environmental protection, health and occupational safety authorities from the German-speaking world.
The aim of this platform is to provide a space for these authorities to share experiences and pursue transnational dialogue on current issues surrounding nanotechnology and nano governance.
Once a year, the authorities from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg (a member since 2016) meet with NGOs, organisations and companies.
Last modification 09.08.2019