International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies – sneak peak of contents

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 ...

6 mins

Ten weeks to save the world: Nature does the Singularity University

You’ve heard the rumors and read the hype – but what really goes on at the Singularity University, based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley?  Nature’s Nicola Jones recently went along to take a look, and her report has just been posted – it’s well worth reading. The Singularity University was co-founded in ...

7 mins

Knitting science

Sitting in a meeting on informal science education recently, I was intrigued to see a respected academic working on her knitting.  And she wasn’t the only one.  Now I may have had a something of a sheltered life, but in over twenty years of attending scientific conferences and workshops, I think this was the first ...

5 mins

Texas Instruments Graphing calculators – essential math teaching aid, or a scam?

Last September regular readers of 2020 Science will recall that I was somewhat taken aback at having to fork out $100 for a Texas Instruments graphing calculator as my son started 7th grade math. One academic year on, was the purchase worth it? (Yes, despite my shock, we did reluctant acquiesce to the school’s dictate ...

2 mins

I’m A Scientist 2010 ends, and the winner is…

An hour or so ago, the final winners of I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here were announced.  To my surprise, I made it to the last two standing in the Silicon Zone yesterday, and have been on the edge of my seat today waiting to see whether I was going to be ousted ...

9 mins

Just how risky can nanoparticles in sunscreens be? Friends of the Earth respond

Last week, I posed Friends of the Earth a challenge – “What is your worst case estimate of the human health risk from titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens?”  Georgia Miller of FoE Australia and Ian Illuminato of FoE in the US have kindly provided a detailed response.  Rather than just keep this ...

4 mins

A spectator’s guide to I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here!

If you want to participate in the rather fab science event I’m A Scientist, Get me Out Of Here I’m afraid you are out of luck – unless you happen to be one of the 100 scientists and 8000 teenagers taking part. But you can still get a thrill from watching the competition unfold on-line ...

2 mins

Making sense of nanotechnology – a piece of cake!

The quality’s a bit flaky, but I thought I would upload this video for a bit of fun.  It’s the first – and possibly the last – time I will simultaneously attempt to unravel the mysteries of nanotechnology… while baking a cake! Filmed at the National Museum of American History as part of Nanodays 2010, ...

7 mins

Why we need technology ratchets

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 resilient technologies. Blame it on ...

5 mins

Davos 2010 wrapup – inspired by youth

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 minimum of effort before hitting ...

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