Hooked on tech – ten alternative perspectives on technology innovation

December 10, 2009

2020 Science is something of a labor of love – it’s a website where I explore my thoughts and ideas surrounding the interface between science, technology and society beyond the constraints of my “day job” (currently Chief Science Advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson Center).  ...

Science and Technology Innovation – looking to the future

December 9, 2009

The final part of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Nine months ago, I embarked on an ambitious project to flesh out the ideas presented in a seminar given at the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford.  The seminar was titled ““Rethinking ...

Completing the circle: Coupling science & technology outputs to inputs

December 7, 2009

Part 9 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Writing about completing the circle of science and technology policy at the start of the Copenhagen climate summit seems particularly fitting.  Although the climate change context was far from my mind when I started this series, it ...

Nanotechnology in 24 seconds/7 words, courtesy of Wade Adams and the Ig Nobels

November 30, 2009

How do you describe nanotechnology in 24 seconds, or even in 7 words?  Tough challenge, but Professor Wade Adams, Director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology at Rice University rose to it with aplomb at this year’s Ig Nobel awards. Here’s the transcript of the achievement, ...

Researchers are real people too – thoughts on interviewing scientists

November 29, 2009

Update July 2015 –Andréia’s original blog post isn’t accessible anymore sadly (I’m still looking for a link to an archived version).   Andréia Azevedo Soares has just posted an excellent blog on how to interview scientists over at YS Journal – an on-line journal written, edited and published by students.  The piece ...

What’s technology innovation got to do with it? Final thoughts on the Summit on the Global Agenda

November 22, 2009

As this weekend’s Summit on the Global Agenda came to a close this morning, I was left with an abiding impression of a looming yet largely hidden potential crisis in global security and prosperity: A failure to develop and use technology innovation effectively in serving the growing needs of society. The ...

Serendipity at the Summit on the Global Agenda

November 21, 2009

Good brainstorms are oft anticipated and rarely encountered.  So I tend to get a little excited when I find myself in one that stimulates rather than stultifies. Today at the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda had more than it’s fair share of frustrations – including what I can ...

From the Summit on the Global Agenda: Technology innovation as an enabler of social innovation

November 20, 2009

It’s the end of day one at the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda, and I’m sitting in my rather comfortable hotel room overlooking Palm Island, trying to pull my thoughts together. It was a day for meeting old friends, making new acquaintances, listening to stirring speeches and ...

Rethinking the world – World Economic Forum style

November 19, 2009

For the next three days I will be participating in and blogging from the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai.  If last year’s summit – described as the “World’s largest brainstorming” – is anything to go by, we’re in for an intense few days.  The summit ...

Tim Jones’ Exquisite Corpse of Science – an update

November 15, 2009

Back in July I wrote a short blog about Tim Jones’ Exquisite Corpse of Science project – an innovative project to explore what people think about science and it’s place in their lives and society, through the medium of drawing and film.  Four months on, I though it was worth ...

Looking for the nanotechnology in your life? There’s an app for that!

November 12, 2009

Okay so it’s more of a list of nanotech-enabled products than a lifestyle tool, but at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, we’ve just released an iPhone version of our surprisingly successful web-based nanotech Consumer Products Inventory. With findNano, it’s a piece of cake to search or browse through the 1000+ manufacturer-identified ...

Could some nanoparticles inflict harm across normally tight biological barriers?

November 5, 2009

A new paper published on-line today in Nature Nanotechnology hints that some nanoparticles could cause damage to cells on the other side of normally tight barriers – such as the blood brain barrier or the placenta – without actually crossing the barriers.  It’s a study that could raise concerns over ...

Speaking power to truth – the unfortunate case of David Nutt

November 1, 2009

Sitting 3000 miles away from London in Washington DC, I’ve been following the dismissal of Professor David Nutt as the UK government’s senior scientific advisor on the misuse of drugs, with interest.  Not being steeped in British drugs politics, I was only vaguely aware of the tensions between the Advisory ...

Do scientists encourage misleading media coverage?

October 30, 2009

As scientists, how we love to rail against the incompetence of the media.  As self-proclaimed keepers of the truth, we decry – usually rather vocally – the misinterpretation and misuse of our precious studies.  And as we commiserate together on the injustices of the world, we inevitably get to thinking ...

Risk Innovation… You what?! (Desparately seeking advice!)

October 23, 2009

Here’s something I’ve been chewing over for the past few weeks:  How do you capture succinctly the idea of developing innovative new approaches to identifying, assessing, managing and otherwise dealing with risks to human health? What I’ve ended up with is “Risk Innovation” – but I’m not convinced it works. So I ...

Riding the wave: Rethinking science & technology policy

October 15, 2009

Part 8 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Much to my embarrassment, I’ve just realized that it was over four months ago that I wrote the previous blog in this series – a series that was supposed to evolve over just a few weeks!  Most ...

Do peer review journals need a media code of conduct?

October 14, 2009

Since when did peer review journals start to put press hits before published data? Scientific peer review journals are a cornerstone of modern science – providing an authoritative repository of scientific discovery that researchers and others can examine, test and build upon.  Publication in peer review journals is the primary route ...

Is too much choice bad for the health?

October 11, 2009

Sunday morning breakfast – a croissant, a coffee, and a stress-free morning. But wait a minute… I wonder how healthy all that butter is?  When did I last have my cholesterol levels checked?  Were they high?  Will my crisp, moist butter croissant push me into a French pastry-coronary? And how about the coffee?  ...

“Nano” from the 1970’s. Don Eigler, eat your heart out!

October 1, 2009

Twenty years ago, Don Eigler became the first person to manipulate and position individual atoms, making the breakthrough that many consider a pivotal moment in modern nanotechnology.  Unknown to Don and the rest of IBM team though (I assume), they were pipped to the “nano” post a full ten years ...

So you’re curious about nanotechnology…

September 28, 2009

Curious, concerned or just plain confused about nanotechnology?  The new website Nano & Me might be just what you are looking for. Funded in part by the UK department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and developed by the Responsible Nano Forum, Nano & Me is aimed at providing clear and ...