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If we're going to get the best from nanotechnology, we need to pay close attention to its societal and ethical implications from the technology's inception, rather than waiting until it is a mature technology with problems already embedded in society. In this article, we discuss such a paradigm, beginning with a discussion of the similarities between nanotechnology and other disruptive technologies. We then discuss some of the issues that will have to be dealt with as nanotechnology matures. Finally, we discuss some specific actions that can be taken now to implement a new paradigm for the introduction of disruptive new technologies.