"The development of innovative technologies and their uses raises a number of important questions regarding impact on people, society, environment and economics", stated a European Commission official. The European Commission already funds efforts to study these impacts, and is particularly interested in their socio-economic dimension and the public attitudes to new technologies.
The Web site gives details on the following topics:
- The Quality of Life Programme's aims and activities.
This includes information on the socio-economic dimension in the Quality of Life programme and advice to applicants
- The Datastore.
Information, tools and facilities to improve network exchanges between researchers, provide on-line knowledge and be a reference point for all stakeholders, including the public by providing exact and practical information on technology impact.
This datastore is divided into five sections:
- An expert database containing a growing list of experts on bio-society issues;
- A catalogue of studies containing a list of all research programmes in the life sciences which deal with relevant issues on the socio-economic impact of new technologies;
- A legislation section with the most relevant European Union directives;
- The BIO-glossary, detailing about 800 technical-scientific terms on the topics with definitions and references;
- Documentation including relevant documents, reports and papers.
A "Bioforum" has also been set up to offer users the possibility of communicating directly among themselves. Links to other European Union related initiatives and Commission sites relevant to socio-economic issues in the life sciences are also provided at the new Bio-society Web site.