Enough with the nano already!

September 18, 2009

Okay, so I’ve been letting work interfere with my blogging life over the past few weeks, which has led to an interminable series of impenetrable blogs on nanotechnology.  I promise I’ll try and lighten up over the next few weeks (although I’m afraid there are still a couple of nano ...

Want the low-down on nanotechnology safety? Try these ten helpful resources

September 14, 2009

Where’s the best place to look for down to earth information on nanotechnology safety?  Surprisingly, given how much time I spend speaking and writing about the subject, I don’t think I have ever sat down and compiled such a list.  But while preparing for this year’s annual meeting of the ...

Texas Instruments – transforming the world, one graphing calculator at a time (or, Where I Went Wrong With My Life)

September 13, 2009

I always thought mathematics at school was all about being taught a new language – one that helps us live in a culture built on numbers, enables scientists and engineers to understand and control the world we live in, and enriches us by revealing the underlying complexity and beauty of ...

Living in a post-chemistry world – the regulatory challenges of emerging nanotechnologies

September 11, 2009

Regulators around the world are currently grappling with how to manage the possible risks associated with first generation nanotechnologies.  But increasingly sophisticated nanotechnology-based products are coming – will the old regulations still cover these emerging nanotechnologies, or is a re-think in how substances are regulated in order?  These are some ...

Helter skelter nanotechnology

September 5, 2009

There’s an absolute killer of a nanotechnology blog post over on placescope, if you are looking for something to brighten your day.  It appears to be based on some old Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) press releases.  But the process of translation and re-translation has rendered them so wonderfully bizarre ...

Hooked on science – ten things that inspired me to become a scientist

September 3, 2009

How exactly did I get hooked on science?  It’s not something I’ve thought about too much before. But an invitation to discuss how to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers next week has got me thinking… Next Monday (Sept 7) I’m taking part in a discussion on science ...

Geoengineering options: Balancing effectiveness and safety

September 1, 2009

An interesting aspect of today’s Royal Society report on geoengineering is the attempt to rate twelve potential approaches to engineering the climate by effectiveness, affordability, timeliness and safety – and to graphically compare the approaches in terms of these criteria. While the ratings and the resulting diagram are somewhat subjective (the ...

Geoengineering the climate: A clear perspective from The Royal Society

September 1, 2009

Initial reflections on the new Royal Society report “Geoengineering the climate: Science, governance and uncertainty” After many months’ hard work, the Royal Society’s much-anticipated report on geoengineering was published today.  Aimed at presenting “an independent scientific review of the range of methods proposed with the aim ...

Ten things everyone should know about nanotechnology safety

August 29, 2009

Asked to conclude the Fourth International Conference on Nanotechnology, Occupational and Environmental Health in Helsinki this year, I rather rashly came up with the above title for my talk—thinking that I would find inspiration in the multitude of new research on nanotech safety being presented at the meeting. As it turns ...

Sunscreens and Alzheimer’s – solid science or scare-mongering speculation?

August 25, 2009

Could using sunscreen lead to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or other neurodegenerative diseases?  The association seems far-fetched – given the amount of sunscreens, creams and lotions used every day, surely someone would noticed a link by now if it existed!  Yet a press release from the University of Ulster suggests the ...

Graphically comparing 523 scientwists’ Twitter stats

August 24, 2009

Following on from yesterday’s update on my quest to track science influence on Twitter, I’ve posted a bubble-chart of the August “influence stats” for all 523 scientwists in David Bradley’s list over at Many Eyes. Using the chart, you can quickly explore the number of followers, secondary followers, social capital and ...

Science influence on Twitter – August update

August 23, 2009

It’s the middle of August, and time for my regular two-monthly update on science tweep influence on Twitter. Back in April I posted data on three indicators of “influence” for ~400 science-focused Twitter users – based on David Bradley’s list of “Scientific Twitter Friends.” This is the third update of the ...

TED talks future-tech

August 20, 2009

I‘ve just posted a series of five attention-grabbing talks on future technologies from TED (the Technology, Entertainment, Design conferences) over at Mashable, where I contribute the occasional guest blog.  If you are more interested in the transformative power of technology than the latest gizmo from Apple, you might want to ...

New study seeks to link seven cases of occupational lung disease with nanoparticles and nanotechnology

August 18, 2009

A new study about to be published in the European Respiratory Journal links workplace nanoparticle exposure to seven cases of serious and progressive lung disease in China – leading to two patient deaths – and presses a number of “hot” buttons when it comes to the safety of emerging nanotechnologies. ...

Nanoparticle exposure and occupational lung disease – six expert perspectives on a new clinical study

August 18, 2009

The recent tragic account of seven Chinese workers suffering—apparently—from nanoparticle-induced lung disease, is likely to raise serious concerns with anyone potentially exposed to similar particles.  Yet without the benefit of insight from scientists and others working on nanoparticles and their potential health impacts, it’s hard to get a handle on ...

Is nanotechnology poised for the ride of its life?

August 18, 2009

In the wake of a new study linking “nanotechnology” to two deaths and five additional cases of lung disease, the emerging technology of the ultra-small could be in for a rough ride.  Yet the real risk is that in the rush to use or even abuse the findings, the science ...

Reflections of a “scientific illiterate”

August 11, 2009

Reviewing Unscientific America: How scientific illiteracy threatens our future, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum My name is Andrew, and I am scientifically illiterate. Just thought I’d get that off my chest! And before you protest too much, I do have some pretty convincing evidence.  Math makes my head ache.   I cannot recite ...

Nanotechnologies – five years on

July 29, 2009

This piece was originally published by the Responsible Nano Forum as a foreword to reflections on the 5th anniversary of the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering report “Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.” On July 29th 2004, the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering published “Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: ...

TED talks science – 5 classic science talks, plus a couple of bonuses

July 22, 2009

The internet is littered with videos of science lectures and science talks – witness the recently posted “100 Incredible Lectures from the World’s Top Scientists” for instance.  But it’s not easy to sift through the tedious, the impenetrable and the down right boring, to arrive at a core of science ...

Anything I can do, you can do better!

July 18, 2009

Art makes a mockery of experts and empowers the marginalized. At least that’s how I feel at the moment! Having broadcast the news of Tim Jones’ fabulous Exquisite Corpse of Science project, I thought it only fitting that I do what I’ve been telling everyone else to do, and get out ...