The US National Nanotechnology Initiative’s latest iteration of its Environmental, Health and Safety Research Strategy has just been posted on-line for public comment.  Between now and January 6, anyone who is interested is encouraged to read the draft and comment on the on-line portal – hopefully sparking a dialogue which will strengthen the final document.

You may remember that the previous strategy was given a bit of a hard time by the National Academies of Science – less for its substance than for the way it was – or wasn’t – brought together in a research strategy.  It’ll be interesting to see how things have evolved over the past couple of years or so.

I haven’t read the draft strategy yet, but I’m hopeful that this will be a stronger document.  For one thing, it builds on input from a wide range of non-government experts.  For another, the feds have taken the bold but extremely welcome step of initiating a public review period.  This makes a lot of sense – it provides another chance to iron out those niggling mistakes that everyone makes while writing documents, and it helps a broader community to be a part of the process, rather than just passive recipients.

I’ll be posting comments on the draft over the next few weeks – within the constraint that I am currently also working on the National Academies panel developing a complementary strategy.  But in the meantime, I would encourage anyone with the slightest interest in the potential health and environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials to read the report, and join the conversation.

The on-line portal can be accessed here.

And before I go, I can’t resist noting that, once again, comments are restricted to 4000 characters.  I am so tempted to tweet my comments, just to get into the spirit of things!  The good news is that multiple posts are allowed!