Azara Blog: UK nanotechnology review

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Date published: 2005/02/25

The BBC says:

The UK government has responded to one major report into nanotechnologies by ordering another review.

Science minister Lord Sainsbury said it would ensure current regulations that safeguard the environment and people's health remained robust.

The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineers' July 2004 report recommended tighter UK and European regulation over some aspects of the tiny science.

Nanotech manipulates molecules and even atoms to make novel materials.

This precision engineering exploits unusual electrical, optical and other properties.

Lord Sainsbury said he wanted the UK to be a "world leader" in the development and regulation of nanotechnologies.

He stressed it was vital that concerns and gaps in knowledge about nanoscience - which could bring sweeping benefits to society - were covered at an early stage.

But he admitted that the future social impacts of the science were "unknown", adding: "We are at the same stage today as we were in the 1940s with computers."

The Royal Society told the BBC News website it was encouraged by the government's commitment to research, but was disappointed that no extra funding was proposed for it.

Seeing the hysteria created by the so-called environmentalists over new technology like GM food, the scientists and government this time around are trying to play safe. Of course this means research will be delayed, and the UK will not lead the way. China will have no such qualms. All new technologies create problems, but the idea that we can figure out the problems ahead of time is a joke. And another review is just in the style of New Labour. This government will be remembered for removing civil liberties, for putting the interests of the US above the interests of the UK, and for setting up hundreds of reviews in order to avoid taking decisions.

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