Nanotech first, ethics later?

Preparing for my testimony before the House Committee on Science, I heard this story from a friend.
It certain rings true. All names have been deleted.

"I was on the phone with the guy who does business development for [a nanotech Institute]
within the....[well-known professional society],
seeking support for a study I'm trying to get funded, to probe the psyches
of young engineers and see how ethically prepared they feel for the
challenges of their working lives. I asked whether there was any kind of
professional code of ethics for the nanotech field. He said, 'Oh no, we're
still trying to develop the technologies. Ethics comes later. But we'd be
really interested in anything you figure out.' Doesn't that sound like part
of the problem?"

Best regards,
(name withheld)