European nanotech communication roadmap and Canada’s silence

Michael Berger in one of his articles on the Nanowerk website critiques a 188 page roadmap published March 2010 and  titled Communicating Nanotechnology: Why, to whom, saying what and how? from the European Commission. From Berger’s article,

“You cannot have an appropriate social dialogue on nanotechnology without an open-minded, consistent and even audacious communication roadmap aiming to bring everyone in.” So begins the foreword to a new Communication Roadmap by the European Commission on communicating nanotechnology in Europe. Very true! But coming from an organization that is not exactly known for a coherent and consistent, not to mention timely, approach to communicating across its many members, cultures and languages, it’s going to be interesting to see what they have come up with now.

I’ve not had time to do much more than a skim a few pages of the roadmap but, as Berger later points out, it’s good to see an attempt to list all of the nanotechnology communication activities undertaken by the European Commission to date. The list is specific to European Commission activities, I did not see any UK-based efforts listed, which means there’s communication about nanotechnology, not included on the roadmap, taking place that’s country- and or region-specific.

About the US, Berger had this to say,

… (the situation in the U.S. isn’t much better; on the contrary, they don’t even have this kind of communications roadmap) …

Meanwhile, the best I can say about the Canadian situation is that most of the communication about nanotechnology takes place behind closed doors. If anyone out there knows differently, please do let me know.

If you want to download the roadmap, go here (Berger noted some problems downloading but I didn’t have any when I tried later).

ETA (June 15, 2010): Dexter Johnson at Nanoclast offers some thoughts about this roadmap and other European efforts in their cycle of reports about nanotechnology (from his June 15, 2010 posting),

I have worked for the last six years at a European-based company where much of its work has been in consulting on nanotechnology. As an American in these circumstances I have come into contact with what at times has seemed to be the bewildering sensibilities of the European bureaucrat.

…  [mention of Michael Berger’s article about the European Commission’s latest nanotechnology communications report/roadmap]

This odd habit of always starting from scratch in these road mapping exercises seems to be one practiced in the UK as well.

Dexter goes on to extend the conversation with a discussion of the latest move by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ban the use of nanosilver and long multiwalled carbon nanotubes in products and he includes a reference to Tim Harper’s latest posting about the matter on TNT log.

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