There’s a new report on nanotechnology safety studies, the ‘EMERGNANO report‘. The researchers surveyed environment, health, and safety studies internationally, determined which ones fit their criteria, and have now provided an assessment of the findings. Short story: there are no conclusive findings which is troublesome given the number of nanomaterial-based products that are making their way into the international marketplace. Michael Berger on Nanowerk News offers an excellent assessment of the situation vis a vis technophobic and technophilic approaches to emerging technologies and their attendant safety issues,New technologies are always polarizing society – some only see the inherent dangers, others only see the opportunities. Since these two groups usually are the loudest, everybody else inbetween has a hard time to get their message across and with objective information and facts. Nanotechnologies are no different. The nay-sayers call for a total moratorium everytime scientific research with concerning conclusions is published while opportunistic hypsters are only interested in selling more products or reports and ridicule even the faintest objections and concerns as uninformed panicmongering.
For more, please go here. I notice that Andrew Maynard (mentioned frequently here due to his 2020 Science blog and his position as Chief Science Advisor for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies) is one of the authors.
There’s a nanotechnology-type conference being held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada this week (June 17 – 18, 2009). They have a big synchroton facility there and, I believe, it is the only such facility in Canada, which according to their video, is one of the most advanced such facilities in the world. The 12th annual meeting features a public lecture, ‘Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality‘, by Robert J. Sawyer, an internationally renowned Canadian science fiction author. For details about the conference,go here. For information about the synchroton in Saskatoon, go here. For information about Robert J. Sawyer, go here. (Media release noting the event can be found on Nanowerk News.)