UK nanotech strategy – unavailable due to technical difficulties

March 18, 2010

It seems the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is having a “leaves on the track” moment this morning (a scathing cultural reference, for those of you Brits too young to remember!).  The newly-minted UK nanotechnology strategy – launched today – is unavailable… because of technical difficulties it ...

Engaging the public on science? Surely you’re joking!

March 10, 2010

I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago where engaging the public (or “publics” to be more accurate) in science came up.  In the course of discussions, I mentioned an initiative by Research Councils UK to involve members of the public in developing a call for research proposals ...

British Science in the 21st century: The Royal Society on securing Britain’s future prosperity

March 8, 2010

It’s a week for significant science reports.  Following hot on the heels of the UK Expert Group on Science and Trust’s report on Monday comes what could well be a seminal work on science in 21st century Britain from the Royal Society.  In “The scientific century: securing our future prosperity” ...

New report on Science and Trust emphasizes acknowledging risk and uncertainty

March 8, 2010

A new report released today from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Expert Group on Science and Trust emphasizes the need to address risk and uncertainty in developing and using science and technology within society.  “Acknowledging risk and uncertainty” is the second of eight broad aspirations from ...

Why we need technology ratchets

March 7, 2010

A lot of things keep me up at night – everything from the trivial (“did I remember to brush my teeth?”) to the to the profound (“does it matter?” ).  But recently, I’ve been plagued more than usual in the wee small hours by the challenge of developing sustainable and ...

Nanotechnology and cancer treatment: Do we need a reality check?

March 2, 2010

Cancer treatment has been a poster-child for nanotechnology for almost as long as I’ve been involved with the field.  As far back as in 1999, a brochure on nanotechnology published by the US government described future “synthetic anti-body-like nanoscale drugs or devices that might seek out and destroy malignant cells ...

US government kicks nanotechnology safety research up a gear

February 18, 2010

It looks like the US is heading for some serious action on addressing the safe development and use of nanotechnology-enabled materials, products and processes in 2011.  Reading through the just-released National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI) Supplement to the President’s 2011 budget , there are some noteworthy inclusions: The US Food ...

Poll: Does trust in science need restoring?

February 16, 2010

Prompted by a blog post by Stephen Hill this morning – and a flurry or Twitter responses to it – here’s a quick question on science and trust: More on this in a later blog. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new ...

Science Media Centre briefing on Climate Science in the Media – Don’t Panic!!

February 12, 2010

A guest blog by Gary Kass, Principal Specialist in Strategic Futures at Natural England The London-based Science Media Centre (SMC) describes itself as “an independent venture working to promote the voices, stories and views of the scientific community to the national news media when science is in the headlines” and sets ...

24 questions and answers on nanotechnology safety

February 12, 2010

Well I guess I set myself up good and proper – I should have realized that in asking people for their questions on nanotechnology safety last week, they would actually want answers! Having failed miserably to compile a catalog of websites that provide clear and concise answers to the questions asked ...

Nanotechnology safety: We’ve got the answers, now what was the question?

February 12, 2010

Last Friday I posted 24 questions on nanotechnology safety provided by folks on Twitter and FaceBook, in a naive attempt to see if people could find matching answers on the web.  Predictably perhaps, there weren’t too many responses.  This wasn’t too surprising – I’m beginning to realize that asking for ...

Twenty nanotechnology safety questions in search of answers

February 5, 2010

I should warn you in advance – this is an interactive blog – there’s something I want from you!  I have a question – where do ordinary people go to get information on nanotechnology safety? Feeling a little lazy I thought I would get you – the loyal 2020 Science readership ...

Nanotechnology researchers at sea when it comes to safety

February 2, 2010

If you ever wanted proof that the nanotechnology research community is floundering when it comes to safe working practices, look no further than a paper just published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.  The paper, written by researchers at the Nanoscience Institute of Aragon (NIA) in Spain, surveys nanosafety practices in ...

Davos 2010 wrapup – inspired by youth

January 31, 2010

Well, I’ve survived my first “Davos” and lived to tell the tale.  I feel I should write about how profoundly important and influential these meetings are (and without a doubt, they are).  But it’s two o’clock in the morning, and I wanted to wrap up this blog series with a ...

Getting from A to B: Technology innovation, global challenges and the Davos process

January 29, 2010

There’s been something of a theme running through my day at The World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos today – getting from A to B.  The “A” in this case is technology innovation, and the “B” the problems we hope it will solve – the big ones like world hunger ...

Owning the carbon cycle

January 28, 2010

This evening I was invited to talk to a group of industry leaders on alternative solutions to the “carbon” problem at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.  The brief was to be one of three “firestarters” – a bit of a dangerous one if you ask me.  Given ...

Davos 2010 – first impressions

January 27, 2010

Having just got back to the hotel at some unseemly hour (at least according to my body clock) from the first full day of meetings at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, I’m trying my best to be disciplined and write some of my impressions up.  As it’s late, ...

Davos 2010 – Got the mittens, where’s the snow?

January 26, 2010

I‘m sitting here at Dulles Airport waiting for my flight to Zurich and the annual World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, so I thought I’d dash off a quick blog.  If you’re on the ball, you will realize that by arriving tomorrow, I will be missing most of the first ...

From Davos with love

January 24, 2010

This week I’m heading out to the World Economic Forum jamboree in Davos, Switzerland.  I’d like to play this cool – as if rubbing shoulders with politicians, business leaders and celebs is something I do all the time.  But the reality is that this is my first time to what ...

No Small Matter – a taste of the nanoscale

January 18, 2010

To accompany the review just posted of Felice Frankel and George Whitesides’ book “No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale” the authors kindly allowed me to post this series of excerpts.  What I wanted to capture here was the synergy between the images and the prose – and how together ...