Environment

At the frontiers of the science of health risk – five areas to watch

by Andrew Maynard January 2, 2013

Cross-posted from Risk Sense This week’s Risk Bites video takes a roller-coaster ride through some of the hottest topics in risk science. Admittedly this is a somewhat personal list, and rather constrained by being compressed into a two and a half minute video for a broad audience. But it does touch on some of the […]

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New journal on Environment, Systems and Decisions looking for contributions

by Andrew Maynard May 15, 2012

Call me a fool, but I recently agree to join the editorial board of the new Springer journal Environment, Systems and Decisions (formerly The Environmentalist).  Actually it was a bit of a no-brainer – I’ve been looking for a journal to get involved with that more closely matched my interests in risk, technology innovation and […]

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2012 World Economic Forum Global Risk Report

by Andrew Maynard January 11, 2012

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report is one of the most authoritative annual assessments of emerging issues surrounding risk currently produced. Now in its seventh edition, the 2012 report launched today draws on over 460 experts* from industry, government, academia and civil society to provide insight into 50 […]

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The Human Project needs your help!

by Andrew Maynard August 25, 2011

Here’s an interesting idea – build a free iPad app that kicks off a global conversation about the future of the human species. The Human Project is the brain child of Erika Ilves & Anna Stillwell.  At its core is a yet-to-be-built iPad app that captures the essence of humanity past and future – who […]

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Nanotechnology, climate and energy: over-heated promises and hot air?

by Andrew Maynard November 16, 2010

Friends of the Earth have just released a new report challenging claims that nanotechnology will lead to greener, more energy-efficient technologies, lower-impact technologies. I’ve only had the chance to skim through the report so far, and so don’t have detailed comments on it.  But on my initial skim a number of things struck me:

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Ten emerging technology trends to watch over the next decade

by Andrew Maynard December 25, 2009

Ten years ago at the close of the 20th century, people the world over were obsessing about the millennium bug – an unanticipated glitch arising from an earlier technology.  I wonder how clear it was then that, despite this storm in what turned out to be a rather small teacup, the following decade would see […]

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Reversing the Technological Dilemma

by Guest December 17, 2009

By George Kimbrell, International Center for Technology Assessment, and the Center for Food Safety A guest blog in the Alternative Perspectives on Technology Innovation series Andrew asked us to write about “how technological innovation should contribute to life in the 21st century.”  Technological innovation is often blindly referred to as “progress.”  The question is — […]

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Steve Chu’s White Revolution

by Andrew Maynard May 27, 2009

It feels good to be ahead of the curve sometimes. About this time last year, I was slaving away painting my roof white – much to the bemusement of my Northern Virginia neighbors and friends. So I couldn’t help feeling just a little smug this morning as I read that US Secretary of Energy Steve […]

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Nanotechnology: From nano-novice to nano-genius in 13 steps

by Andrew Maynard May 26, 2009

Back in April, the folks at the PBS station THIRTEEN asked me to answer 13 questions on nanotechnology and the environment for their website feature Green Thirteen.   The questions ended up covering most of nanotechnology – what it is, what it’s good for, what the downsides might be, and how we might overcome potential problems […]

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Building better batteries, the Chinese way

by Andrew Maynard April 2, 2009

Reading yesterday’s New York Times, it seems China could well be poised to leapfrog the West in advanced battery technology (China Vies to Be World’s Leader in Electric Cars). According to the article, Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles […]

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Science, technology and the three “C’s:” Communication, Coupling and Control

by Andrew Maynard March 19, 2009

Part 1 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century We live in a crowded, science and technology-dependent word.  And things aren’t getting any better!  The global population is currently around 6.8 billion.  Over the next four years it’s projected to grow to over 7 billion.  And by 2050, the US […]

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Rethinking science and technology for the 21st century

by Andrew Maynard March 13, 2009

Like it or not, society is dependent on science and technology.  The only way we can cram 6 billion people plus onto the earth and use resources at the rate we do, is through the support of scientific discovery and technology innovation.  Take our technology-based infrastructure away and civilization as we know it would collapse. […]

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Geoengineering: Does it need a dose of geoethics?

by Andrew Maynard January 28, 2009

It’s been a big week for geoengineering.  First there was the news that the world’s largest geoengineering experiment to date is about to start in the Southern Ocean.  Following close behind was a new study on how geoengineering projects could potentially impact global climate change, ranging from covering vast tracts of desert with a reflective […]

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John Holdren – Obama’s new science advisor?

by Andrew Maynard December 18, 2008

Reports are coming in that Professor John Holdren – director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, University of Harvard – is Barack Obama’s pick for science advisor, and head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Resolving the carbon nanotube identity crisis

by Andrew Maynard October 31, 2008

Twelve months ago today I held a bag of multi-walled carbon nanotubes up before a hearing of the U.S. House Science Committee.  I wanted to emphasize the discrepancy between the current state of the science on carbon nanotubes, and a tendency to classify this substance as the relatively benign material graphite from a safety perspective.  […]

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Nano-sunscreens leave their mark

by Andrew Maynard June 21, 2008

Painted metal roofs are cheap, convenient, and usually very durable.  But over the past two years, a rash of accelerated ageing has blighted pre-painted steel roofing in Australia.  And intriguingly the ageing—which affects the coating—seems to be localized to small patches, taking on the form of fingerprints, handprints and even footprints. The culprit it seems […]

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Smart materials; smart choices?

by Andrew Maynard May 31, 2008

Why nano?  Why care?  For non-nanotech initiates, an obsession with nanotechnology must sometimes seem a bizarre occupation of the sad and lonely.  And even within the nanotechnology community, who hasn’t had occasional doubts over the legitimacy of singling out “nano” as something special?  Yet occasionally a piece of work comes along that helps put things […]

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