LST builds first global nanotech regulation database

December 2, 2009

A global database of government documents on nanotechnology is being launched by three law professors at Arizona State University who, with their colleagues in Australia and Belgium, have corralled and organized a massive number of regulatory documents dealing with the rapidly advancing technology.

The Nanotech Regulatory Document Archive, (">">, is a free resource built and maintained by the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Over the past year, Gary">">Gary Marchant, the center's executive director, and center Faculty Fellows Douglas">">Dou... Sylvester and Kenneth">">Ke... Abbott, developed the database as part of a multiyear grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Genomic Science Program. Download Full Image

The project is a natural fit for the center, which is housed in the first U.S. law school to offer a regular course in nanotechnology, has several faculty members who actively publish in the area and has amassed a cluster of law student researchers in the emerging technology, Marchant said.

The archive will enable government regulators, industry officials, public-interest groups, educators, students and the public to search for a variety of documents from every country in the world, and from every level of government. Its creation comes at a time when the worldwide regulation of nanotechnology is expected to ramp up considerably, in an attempt to keep pace with the science, Marchant said.

"There's going to be a lot of activity in this area, and it's very important for people to be able to keep up," he said. "Every country is in the same place, going through the same steps, starting to put into place regulatory programs. We need to promote harmonization among these countries, and one way to do that is to have access in other jurisdictions, and to see what other people are doing."

Sylvester expects the Web site will become an essential resource for the latest news on nanotechnology regulation and a great tool for researching and comparing regulatory approaches around the world.

"As the pace and scope of nano regulation grows, the need for international collaboration in projects like these also will grow," he said.

The value of the database extends even beyond nanotechnology, Abbott added. "Biotechnology, cognitive science and other technologies are developing just as rapidly, and will have equally significant social impacts," he said. "We need to learn how countries can and do respond to innovations like these."

The center was assisted by the Centre of Regulatory Studies at Monash University Law School in Australia and the Institute of Environmental and Energy Law at K.U. Leuven in Belgium. Diana Bowman, a senior research fellow in the Monash Centre, said the archive is a much-needed resource that will become a hub for those interested in exploring the evolving debates and understanding nanotechnology policy and regulatory developments.

"While scientists and industry have been increasingly focused on manipulating matter at the nanoscale in order to produce increasingly sophisticated and novel applications, governments, academics, civil society and other key stakeholders have dedicated significant time and resources to considering the broad implications of the technology," Bowman said. "The speed of these debates has moved swiftly, resulting in an overwhelming volume of literature. And this is only the beginning."

Geert Van Calster, co-director of K.U. Leuven's Institute, pointed out the paradox in the nanotechnology regulatory debate, in that there are few regulations on the books, yet a plethora of analysis, opinions, government resolutions and other information exist.

"This archive will allow the user quickly to find the trees of the debate, and subsequently to dig for the sources that will give you the forest for the trees – a tour de force, and one that is very timely," Van Calster said.

In the database, each entry provides a direct link and/or an attached copy of a specific document, an abstract of that document prepared for the database, and a listing of other pertinent information including author, date and document type. Documents for a specific jurisdiction can be accessed by clicking on a map or on a region, nation or entity.

"The Web site is intended to operate as an edited wiki, and we urge users from around the globe to edit, add, delete and comment on the Web site," Sylvester said. "It's a great tool, but it will require users to keep it up-to-date."

Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder">">
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 

The Margaret Gisolo Memorial celebrates the life of a distinguished dancer, athlete and educator

December 2, 2009

The ASU Herberger Institute School of Dance and the Herberger Institute Development office.

Join the ASU Herberger Institute School of Dance Dec. 13, 2009, for a celebration of the life Margaret Gisolo (1914–2009), founder of ASU College of Fine Arts department of dance. The program includes video presentations of Gisolo’s lifetime achievements and tributes from colleagues, friends, students and family members. A dedication performance includes music by Charles Lewis, a dance alumnus who was a student of Gisolo’s in the 1950s, a song written and performed by fellow dance alumna Lee Robert Flory, and a special award presentation by the National Dance Association. A reception follows. Join the ASU Herberger Institute School of Dance Dec. 13, for a celebration of the life Margaret Gisolo (1914–2009), founder of ASU College of Fine Arts department of dance. Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Download Full Image

Memorial contributions can be made to the: ASU Foundation, attention "Margaret Gisolo Scholarship in Dance," ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Development office, P.O. Box 872102, Tempe, AZ 85287-2102. Contributions also may be made via credit card by contacting Christine Austin at 480.727.7785, or

Read more about Gisolo’s life’s accomplishments at AZCentral.com and

Dance Theatre, Physical Education Building East 132, 611 E. Orange St., ASU Tempe campus. For a scaled ASU Tempe campus map, visit:

Dec. 13, 2 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

Public Contact
For more information, please contact Beth Lessard at 480.838.5551, or

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Sunny Kuo
ASU Herberger Institute 
School of Dance