Ethics

Basic research and personal responsibility

by Andrew Maynard November 11, 2010

Dan Sarewitz has a rather provocative commentary in Nature this morning, where he suggests that proposals to increase basic research may be good politics, but questionable policy. The headline alone is probably enough to get some science-advocates’ blood boiling, whether they go on to read the piece or not: “Double trouble? To throw cash at [...]

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Deja vu and synthetic biology – will we learn the lessons of nanotech and genetic modification?

by Hilary Sutcliffe May 25, 2010

A guest blog by Hilary Sutcliffe, Director of MATTER, a UK think tank which explores how new technologies can work for us all. The other day, I wrote a piece on the implications of synthetic biology where I  suggested that we “need to place discussions on a science basis, and not get over-distracted by ethical [...]

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A 2020 Science Taster

by Andrew Maynard February 19, 2009

Given the recent surge in 2020science readers (thanks to Lon S. Cohen at Mashable), I thought it about time I did a short retrospective—a taster for the type of stuff you can expect to read here.  So here are five pieces from the past year that cover everything from nanotechnology to synthetic biology, and ethics [...]

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Synthetic biology: Lessons from synthetic chemistry

by Andrew Maynard November 13, 2008

Looking back to chart a course to the future This coming lunchtime*, former New York Times columnist Denise Caruso will discuss the promise and pit-falls of synthetic biology with Center for American Progress senior fellow and former Washington Post science reporter Rick Weiss.  Given the track record of both participants, I’m anticipating a stimulating and [...]

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Nanotechnology and the God of Small Things

by Andrew Maynard January 12, 2008

With apologies to Arundhati Roi for “borrowing” the title of her moving book, what—if anything—has nanotechnology got to do with religion? Barnaby Feder of the New York Times takes on this issue in his latest posting to the Bits blog: “There may not be a lot of agreement among the world’s religions on exactly what [...]

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Nanotechnology in context – Size matter

by Andrew Maynard November 1, 2007

In July 2007, a specially convened task force of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that size does in fact matter (FDA 2007).  The focus of the task force was not on the importance of “largeness”, but rather on the technology of the unimaginably small—nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the technology of manipulating matter [...]

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