Sustainable nano society?

There’s a new nanotechnology organization according to the June 15, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,

Nanotechnology has a window of opportunity to aid in the sustainability of the planet. A group of scientists and engineers has recognized this remarkable chance to raise up a sustainable industry while helping sustain the environment, economy and society. The Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) promotes research, education, and responsibility to fulfill its mission.

The first meeting, November 4-6, 2012, in Washington DC features plenaries by Nobelist Sir Harry Kroto and National Nanotechnology Initiative founding father, Mihail (Mike) Roco and over 100 individual presentations.

Here’s more about the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization, from the home page,

The Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) is a non-profit, worldwide professional society comprised of individuals and institutions that are engaged in:

  • Research and development of sustainable nanotechnology
  • Implications of nanotechnology for Environment, Health, and Safety
  • Advances in nanoscience, methods, protocols and metrology
  • Education and understanding of sustainable nanotechnology
  • Applications of nanotechnology for sustainability

SNO’s purpose is to provide a professional society forum to advance knowledge in all aspects of sustainable nanotechnology, including both applications and implications.

I find Roco’s involvement in the Nov. 2012 meeting interesting in light of some comments Dexter Johnson made in his June 8, 2 012 posting on Nanoclast (on the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers]) about Roco’s current campaign to encourage international nanotechnology research cooperation (Note: I have removed links from the excerpt),

Roco was the man behind turning a scattering of papers in condensed matter/solid state physics or chemistry into a national initiative. In doing so, he unwittingly—or not—launched an international nanotechnology arms race, which has seen at least 35 countries jump on to the bandwagon since the NNI was started.

Make no mistake, this “race” is no joke. There are billions of dollars at stake and national reputations seem to be built up on success in crossing the vague finish line before some other country.

So after unleashing this billion-dollar nanotech arms race, Roco now is urging collaboration in nanotech to provide the push the field needs to progress.

Well, yes, of course, and it’s about time somebody said it. It probably couldn’t have come from a better source either.

Dexter provides some good insight into the impact Roco has had on nanotechnology research in the US and internationally and, personally, I find these new developments quite fascinating.

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