Policy

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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EC adopts cross-cutting definition of nanomaterials to be used for all regulatory purposes

by Andrew Maynard October 18, 2011

The European Commission had just adopted a “cross-cutting designation of nanomaterials to be used for all regulatory purposes” (link). The definition builds on a draft definition released last year, but includes a number of substantial changes to this. Here’s the full text of the definition:

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US National Nanotechnology Initiative to release latest Environmental, Health and Safety research strategy, Oct 20

by Andrew Maynard October 15, 2011

This coming Thursday (Oct 20 2011), the US National Nanotechnology Initiative is releasing the latest version of the Initiative’s federal nanotechnology environmental, health and safety research strategy.  The strategy will be available for download from 10:00 AM Eastern time, with a webinar on the release being held between 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM Eastern (registration […]

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New models needed to master technology trends – World Economic Forum

by Andrew Maynard October 10, 2011

In his opening remarks at this year’s Summit on the Global Agenda, World Economic Forum founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab placed the need for new models to support effective use of technology innovation firmly on the table. This is the fourth year I have participated in the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Summit – […]

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Define nanomaterials for regulatory purposes? EU JRC says yes.

by Andrew Maynard September 6, 2011

Cross-posted from The Risk Science Blog: In a recent letter to the journal Nature (Nature 476; 399), Hermann Stamm of the European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP) defended the need to define engineered nanomaterials for regulatory purposes. The letter, titled “Nanomaterials should be defined”, was a direct response to […]

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Seven challenges to regulating “sophisticated materials”

by Andrew Maynard July 22, 2011

The materials that most current regulations were designed to handle are pretty simple by today’s standards. Sure they can do some nasty things to the environment or your body if handled inappropriately. And without a doubt some of the risks associated with these “simple” materials are not yet well understood – especially when it comes […]

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Nanotechnology – has the UK dropped the nano-ball?

by Andrew Maynard July 8, 2011

I must confess to being rather saddened this morning to read Roger Highfield’s New Scientist blog on the state of nanotechnology in the UK.  Hot on the heels of reports that the company Nanoco is threatening to leave Britain for more fertile grounds, it left me wondering what has happened to the promise of ten […]

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A plug for the 2011 Risk Science Symposium: Risk, Uncertainty and Sutainable Innovation

by Andrew Maynard May 13, 2011

Registration is now open for the 2011 Risk Science Symposium, and as I’m chairing it, I thought it worth giving a bit of a plug here. The symposium brings together a fantastic cast of experts from very different backgrounds to explore the intersection of technology innovation and human health risk – with the aim of […]

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Technology innovation and human health risk – rethinking the intersection

by Andrew Maynard March 10, 2011

As anyone who has followed my work over the past few years will know, I have a deep interest in the potential benefits and risks associated with emerging technologies, and in particular whether we can swing the balance towards benefits by thinking more innovatively about risk and how we address it. So it’s not surprising […]

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Davos 2011 – Committed to changing the state of the world

by Andrew Maynard February 1, 2011

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog. As it did last year, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos has left me with a daunting task – how do I summarize the highlights of the meeting in a single, short post? The answer of course is that I can’t – Davos is so complex, diverse […]

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Davos 2011: Global Risks permeate conversations this year, but where’s the science?

by Andrew Maynard January 29, 2011

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog. Take a metaphorical slice through this year’s annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, and Global Risk would be writ large through every part of it.  Hot on the heels of the sixth Global Risk report, this year’s meeting saw the launch of the Risk Response Network – a […]

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Davos 2011: Desperately seeking Google

by Andrew Maynard January 24, 2011

It’s that time of year again – 2000+ of the worlds top movers and shakers are beginning to descend on the Swiss ski town of Davos for this year’s Annual World Economic Forum meeting.  Political heavyweights like Clinton, Annan, Sarkozy and Cameron will be intermingling with the likes of Gates, Bono,  deNiro, Carreras and a […]

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Building a sustainable future: World Economic Forum tackles the opportunities and challenges presented by technology innovation

by Andrew Maynard January 19, 2011

“Technology doesn’t just happen” – people must be sick of hearing me say this.  Yet as chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, it’s something I seem to end up saying rather a lot as we strive to help decision-leaders maximize the benefits of technology innovation, while avoiding untoward consequences. […]

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The geopolitics of nanotechnology – an ideaological counterweight from ETC?

by Andrew Maynard December 22, 2010

Getting an unbiased perspective on nanotechnology is probably as close to impossible as you can get.  Governments invest in nanotech because they believe in its ability to inspire new research and stimulate economies and social change.  Corporations invest in nanotech because they think it will give them an edge in a hyper-competitive world.  Neither is […]

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Emerging technologies at the World Economic Forum – rethinking integrative approaches to global risks

by Andrew Maynard November 30, 2010

In an interconnected world, global issues demand integrative solutions.  It’s a statement that many people would agree with – in systems where associations between cause and effect are complex, you ignore synergistic inter-relationships between factors at your peril. But when it comes to technology innovation, it seems that the rules don’t apply. This week I […]

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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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International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies – sneak peak of contents

by Andrew Maynard November 4, 2010

Back in the mists of time, I was approached with a crazy proposition – would I help co-edit a book on nanotechnologies regulation!  In a moment of weakness I said yes, and a little more than two and a half years later, the book is finally about to hit the shelves. I actually think the […]

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Smart science for the 21st century

by Andrew Maynard August 3, 2010

In February 2008, the National Academy of Engineering launched 14 grand challenges for engineering.  These were the inspiration for this post, but rather than focus on the challenges themselves, I thought it would be interesting to consider how science and technology are going to help address them.  Over two years on, the ideas I was […]

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The Global Redesign Initiative and the need for up-front investment in sustainable technology innovation

by Andrew Maynard May 31, 2010

The global financial crisis of 2008-09 laid bare the inadequacies of global systems in an increasingly interdependent world, and highlighted the need to rethink the “architecture of global cooperation” – the idea at the core of the World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative.  As the World Economic Forum publishes and discusses the outcomes of this […]

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Nano Dispersants and nano hysteria – time to think about the science folks!

by Andrew Maynard May 28, 2010

Catching up with my email after a long day off the net, I see that a group of Non Government Organizations (NGOs) are urging EPA not to allow the use of an alleged nanotechnology-based dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico.  The letter from thirteen organizations was covered in a piece by Andrew Schneider on AOL […]

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