The French Commission of Public Debates (CPDP) launches a nationwide series of pubic debates on nanotechnology, beginning in Strasbourg Tuesday 10/13/2009 and ending in Paris on 02/23/2010. Each debate will focus on a different theme; the initial debate in Strasbourg will focus on EU regulation of nanotechnology, while the final Paris debate will focus on ethics and governance. While there are themes for each debate, the debates are not going to be rigidly tied to the theme and are intended to be broad and wide ranging discussions.

Jean Bergougnoux, the President of the CDPD, has been quoted as saying that the purpose of the debates is to

inform the public on the complex problems related to nanotechnology, allow the public to put forward their concerns and expectations, and make decision makers aware of their responsibilities

These debates, along with the earlier public workshops in Australia and New Zealand that have been discussed here earlier this year, appear to be the latest in a series of international efforts to increase public awareness of the potential benefits of nanotechnology and to gage the extent of public support for nanotechnology and nanoindustry and to lessen the public’s fears of nanotechnology.

More information is available on the debate website.