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Scientists asked to show empathy towards legislators

Researchers should not judge legislators too harshly when they struggle to understand the nuances and implications of disruptive technologies, the European Parliament vice-president has said.

European legislators need as much help as possible from scientists as well as space and time to understand the impacts for society of disruptive technologies, from synthetic meat to flying cars and quantum technologies, Mairead McGuinness said at the EuroScience Open Forum on 25 July.

“It is very important to remember that any single word, space, comma and full stop in regulation has a meaning and that, at the end of the day, the science of legislation is not perfect because it is being made by human beings with opinions and concerns,” she said.

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