Smart Science – Addressing the Impacts of Nanotechnology

Venue: N/A

Location: N/A, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Feb 09, 2007
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Nanotechnology has variously been described as a transformative technology, an enabling technology and the next technological revolution. Even accounting for a certain level of hype, a heady combination of high-level investment, rapid scientific progress and exponentially increasing commercialization, point towards nanotechnology having a fundamental impact on society over the coming decades. However, enthusiasm over the rate of progress is increasingly being tempered by concerns over possible downsides of the technology. Real and perceived adverse consequences in areas such as asbestos, nuclear power and genetically modified organisms have engendered increasing skepticism over the ability of scientists, industry and governments to ensure the safety of new technologies. As nanotechnology moves towards widespread commercialization, not only is the debate over preventing adverse consequences occurring at an unusually early stage in the development cycle; it is also expanding beyond traditional science-based risk management to incorporate public perception, trust and acceptance.

So is nanotechnology more than just hype, or is it simply a cynical re-interpretation of existing technologies? And are the risks real, or just figments of our imagination? Staring from basics, this presentation will explore what makes “nano” different, and how this might change our perspective on how the potential of nanotechnology might be realized, while minimizing its possible downsides.


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