The Royal Society has published a report on a workshop they held jointly with the Science Council of Japan to discuss health, environmental and societal impacts of nanotechnologies. The report can be downloaded as a PDF from this site, together with the PDFs of all the presentations made, or you can read the press release.
The focus of the meeting was, as usual, on the potential toxicity of free, manufactured nanoparticles. Calls were made for increased government funding of toxicology studies, for increased openness from industry about the methods and results of their own testing, for consistent international standards, and for more emphasis on studies of the effect of nanoparticles on the environment. The timing of the publication is interesting – the press release notes that “The report is released ahead of the expected publication of the Government’s research programme on nanotechnologies next week”.