Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: Opportunities and uncertainties
Royal Society and Royal Academy ,
Report by The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering
Vol. 0, Num. 0
In the context of rising hopes and concerns about nanotechnology, and in the light of heavy governmental investments, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering conducted a study from Jun 2003 to June 2004 to define what is meant by nanotechnology (Ch 2); to summarize the current state of knowledge (Ch 3); to identify applications for nanotechnology now and in future (Ch 4); to identify possible health and environmental hazards (Ch 5); to enumerate ethical concerns (Ch 6); to evaluate public understanding and attitudes (Ch 7); to assess the regulatory implications (Ch 8); and to make recommendations (Chs. 9 &10). The study was conducted by a multidisciplinary working group convened independently of the government. Recommedations include lifecycle assessment of products; research devoted to nano particle toxicity; as little release of nanoparticles and tubes as possible in manufacturing or in environmental cleanup applications (lest the cure be worse the than the problem); review of current regulations and a new regulatory framework for workplace safety and consumer products, especially medicines; further study of social and ethical issues; and more public dialogue with stakeholders.