"UNESCO considers itself a laboratory of ideas, so you have to be able to anticipate new concepts" and get diverse groups of people to develop a shared vision, says UNESCO professional Meriem Bouamrane.
In all these cases, the outcome would have been better if the scientists and their colleagues had taken the time to fully appreciate the risks.
"We are training chemists to think imaginatively about minimising environmental impacts and social and economic costs," says the Royal Society of Chemistry's Jeff Hardy.
"In practice, only a limited number of chemicals have been properly tested for reproductive toxicity, so many hazards are not known about," says toxicologist and UK government adviser Paul Illing.
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