Nanotechnology, Energy and Markets
Vol. 4, Num. 2
The twin crises affecting the energy and finance sectors in the early part of 2009 may seem like a boon to nanoscience researchers looking to apply their technologies to societal ills, but these same problems promise to keep dollars away from nanotechnology at roughly the same rate they infuse them. The possibility of success in this climate might come from a shift from observational science to control science, though first the US Department of Energy, in reports published by its Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, recommends dream teams of scientists with the latest equipment be established throughout the country to better organize research and increase the rate at which new discoveries and innovations are generated. The private sectors beating in the contemporary economic market, however, has made these dreams and the promise of Steven Chus appointment as Secretary of Energy seem less real, and the fluctuations in the price of oil make alternative energy, a prime target of nanotechnology for its solar power possibilities, a topic of concern only when gas prices climb. That being the case, Jones calls for development of a framework independent of the market to drive nanotechnology research.