Nanotechnology safety – a new video blog from the ASME Nanotechnology Institute

March 4, 2011

Back in December 2009, I rode the Acela Express up to New York from Washington DC for the day to record one of a series of nanotechnology podcasts for the ASME – the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The podcast was to be part of a new educational outreach ...

The art of regulating nanotechnologies

February 26, 2011

The recently published International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies has a rather unconventional cover image. But it’s one that I must confess I am rather pleased with. The image is a photo of a piece of Murano glass that I picked up several years ago while visiting Venice. At the ...

Crowdsourcing “sinful” images for a tech talk – can you help?

February 23, 2011

How would you illustrate the “Seven Deadly Sins of Techno-Complacency” (see below)? On March 8, I’m giving a combined Second Live/Real Life talk on emerging technologies, inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins.  This will be a rather tongue in cheek affair as you might imagine, but with some serious points ...

Obama’s 2012 budget does not bode well for safe & productive workplaces

February 19, 2011

In one of the more bizarre yet less publicized proposed cuts in the 2012 Obama budget, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Centers are on the chopping block.  Bizarre, because the move is directly counter to Obama’s push on innovation and education ...

The New Toxicology of Sophisticated Materials: Nanotoxicology and Beyond

February 9, 2011

Cross-posted from The Risk Science Blog Several months ago, I was asked by a colleague if I fancied co-authoring a review on nanotoxicology for a copy of Toxicological Sciences celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Society of Toxicology (coming out later this year). Fool that I am, I ...

Davos 2011 – Committed to changing the state of the world

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 ...

Davos 2011 – Partnering with teens to build a better world

January 29, 2011

This is not a science and technology post – which is a bit odd for a science and technology blog.  But I wanted to introduce five people who together shake up the whole idea of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos as being an elitist and increasingly irrelevant gathering ...

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

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 ...

Davos 2011 – physics superstar meets music superstar; talks cosmology

January 28, 2011

I don’t usually write about personal interactions here, but this is one I couldn’t resist – physics superstar Lawrence Krauss talking cosmology with music superstar Peter Gabriel. I was with Lawrence at a World Economic Forum dinner when he bumped into Peter – as one does!  He immediately launched into an ...

Asking smart people dumb questions – the new role of challengers at Davos

January 27, 2011

Cross-posted at ForumBlog.org – the World Economic Forum blog My high school physics teacher used to tell me there’s no such think as a dumb question.  It’s a lesson I’ve carried with me through my professional career as a scientist.  But it’s a philosophy that might be just about to come ...

Obama spotlights innovation, but how do we get it right?

January 25, 2011

Technology innovation was front and center of Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight.  This is extremely good news for those of us who believe more needs to be done, and done better, to ensure science and technology translate into effective solutions that enable economic and social growth.  But recognizing ...

Davos 2011: Desperately seeking Google

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, ...

Nanotechnology – what web resources do you find most helpful?

January 24, 2011

Over at the Risk Science Center blog, I have posted a request for help on web-based nanotechnology resources. Given that 2020 Science has such a nano-savvy readership, I thought I would cross-post the request here. If you have any suggestions on useful websites dealing with nanotechnology – especially those describing ...

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

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 ...

Obama’s 21st century regulatory system will demand more innovative thinking on risk

January 18, 2011

Cross posted from the Risk Science Center Blog: There’s a lot to like in President Obama’s perspective on 21st century regulation. Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Obama outlines his thinking behind his new executive order to review and revise a convoluted and potentially disruptive federal regulatory system. But ...

NOVA Making Stuff, nanomaterials and a web-lactating goat

January 15, 2011

Next week sees the debut of the PBS science program NOVA’s new series Making Stuff – a four part special “exploring the materials that will shape our future”, hosted by NY Times technology columnist David Pogue. You may recall that I expressed some reservations over the program’s approach to bioengineered materials ...

Nanoparticle Toxicity dropped from the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report

January 12, 2011

As I report on the Risk Science Blog, the latest iteration of the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report has dropped “Nanoparticle Toxicity” as an emerging and significant risk.  Instead, the far more generic “Threats from New Technologies” takes its place. This is a welcome move – but I do have ...

US National Nanotechnology Initiative draft EHS Strategy – good in part

January 4, 2011

Update 1/6/11: The comment period has been extended to January 21 There are only two days left to comment on the current draft US National Nanotechnology Initiative Environmental, Health and Safety strategy (the comment period closes January 6) – so time to read the draft, log in to the portal and ...

A bluffer’s guide to Risk Science in the 21st century

January 4, 2011

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati under the slightly provocative title “Small Gods and the Art of Technology Innovation”.  The talk is now available on-line (slides and audio at least) – and viewable below – through the excellent work of the ...

The geopolitics of nanotechnology – an ideaological counterweight from ETC?

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 ...