Wasting Nanotechnology’s Potential

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Former White House science advisor warns that nanotechnology’s potential threatened

Dr. Lane made his remarks today at a Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies event at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The program marked the release of a new article in the December 2006 issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, “What drives public acceptance of nanotechnology””

“A recent poll by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies shows that while public awareness of nanotechnology is increasing, fully 69 percent of Americans have heard little or nothing about nanotechnology,” said Lane. “More young people are seeing nanotechnology in advertisements for MP3 players than are learning about nanotechnology in schools.”

“In my view, given what’s at stake, this situation is unacceptable. I fear that nanotechnology may be heading for a fall. A major environmental, medical or safety problem—real or bogus—with a product or application that’s labeled ‘nanotechnology’—whether it actually is nanotechnology or not—could dampen public confidence and financial investment in nanotechnology’s future, and could even lead to unwise regulation. We should not let this happen,” stated Dr. Lane.

Yep! I’ve been saying that for a long time.

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