The American Chemical Society (ACS) has a Science & the Congress Project where they provide information about various science and technology issues to policymakers. Their latest briefing will be on nanomaterials and the Toxic Substances Control Act. From the June 21, 2012 news release on EurekAlert,
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on “Nanomaterial Safety: Do We Have the Right Tools?” It will be held Wednesday, June 27, 12-1:30 p.m., in the Russell Senate Office Building Room 325. To attend, register at http://tinyurl.com/ACSSciCongr-nanoEHS.
This briefing is hosted by the ACS Science & the Congress Project with honorary co-host the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus.
With nanotechnology, scientists engineer materials on a molecular level; that is, they work with such basic factors as the size, shape and surface properties of substances, in addition to altering the chemical composition, to create materials that exhibit novel properties. While the science to engineer nanomaterials has been developed largely since the 1980s, public laws to regulate the safety of materials and chemicals, such as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), were crafted in the 1970s. Important questions for our times: Does our understanding of and information about nanotechnology adequately inform the policies designed to ensure safe product development? Likewise, do the current policies address both the possible problems and benefits associated with nanotechnology? This panel will discuss whether policymakers currently have the necessary tools, both scientific and policy mechanisms, to reap the potentials of nanotechnology.
The briefing will feature the following panelists and an open discussion:
Moderator: Kristen Kulinowski, Ph.D., Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analyses
- Lynn Bergeson, Bergeson & Campbell P.C.
- Richard Denison, Ph.D., Environmental Defense Fund
- Arturo Keller, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
For those of us who can’t attend, it is possible to find more information the Science &the Congress Project, from the About page (and if you keep reading you’ll find that you may still be able to access the briefing even if you can’t attend the real-time event),
Since 1995, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has operated the Science & the Congress Project to educate and inform Members of Congress and their staffs on the importance of science and technology to solving national challenges. The Science & the Congress Project has conducted well over 100 congressional briefings on important and timely policy topics, relying on panels of knowledgeable and diverse experts to provide comprehensive, balanced presentations about chosen topics, and to increase the level of scientific and technological literacy on Capitol Hill. The goals of the project include:
- Highlighting the role of S&T in public policy.
- Helping Members of Congress and their staffs gain a deeper knowledge of the science involved in policy issues.
- Serving as a neutral and credible source of scientific information.
- Promoting the responsible use of science in national policymaking.
Serving ACS and Its Members
The ACS Science & the Congress Project provides significant benefits for ACS and its members:
- Balanced, nonpartisan briefings lend credibility to ACS policy efforts.
- Initiation of briefings enhances ACS’s leadership role among peer organizations.
- Collaborations with cosponsors enhance ACS’s ties and foster cooperation within the scientific community.
- Online availability of briefing materials increases ACS members’ exposure to science policy topics.
During more than a decade of existence, the ACS Science & the Congress Project has conducted well over 100 briefings and built relationships with:
- Congressional offices, committees, caucuses and staffers.
- Experts in academia, non-governmental organizations and all levels of government.
- Professional organizations with overlapping interests.
They also make their materials available after the briefing,
Serving as an Ongoing Source of Science Policy Information
Individual web pages for each Science & the Congress Project briefing provide a breadth of resources on the briefing’s topic, including:
- The speakers’ presentations.
- Speaker biographical and contact information.
- Supplemental links, documents, and articles.
I checked and it is possible to access the briefings and other information without a subscription. I hope the nanomaterials briefing will be available soon on the website soon. Here’s the page you should check.