U.K.-based Blog Explores Nanotechnology Risks, Benefits

"[W]hile engaging people on nanotechnology might seem like pulling teeth at times, it is vitally important we get it right, so all of us 'public' can make good decisions on how emerging technologies are going to be used." So wrote Andrew D. Maynard, Ph.D., recently as part of a blog entry at SafeNano, encapsulating the site's spirit and one of its goals. Maynard is one of several regular contributors to the blog, designed to disseminate information on nanotechnology health and safety. A venture of Great Britain's Institute of Occupational Medicine, the SafeNano site also says it has a mission to help industrial and academic communities quantify and control the risks to their workforce, consumers and the general populations, and the environment.

Maynard is chief scientist at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, which itself is an initiative of the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to helping business, government, and the public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology. His recent contributions at SafeNano have included thoughts under the headings "People breathing in nanoparticles? Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman!" "'Selling out' on nanotechnology outreach," and "Invest in nano applications, and the risks will take care of themselves?" Other recent headings at the site, which launched in April, include "Buckyballs and Asbestos--poor science or poor reporting?" and "EU Nanotechnology Action Plan."

A press release from the Wilson Center calls the blog "a 'must read' for nanoscientists, businesspeople, journalists and others interested in the technology that will lead to what some are calling the next Industrial Revolution." You can check it out for yourself by visiting www.community.safenano.org/blogs.

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