The Royal Society’s verdict on the UK government’s nanotech performance

The UK’s science and engineering academies – the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering – were widely praised for their 2004 report on nanotechnology – Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, which was commissioned by the UK government. So it’s interesting to see, two years on, how they think the government is doing implementing their suggestions. The answer is given in a surprisingly forthright document, published a couple of days ago, which is their formal submission to the review of UK nanotechnology policy by the Council of Science and Technology. The press release that accompanies the submission makes their position fairly clear. Ann Dowling, the chair of the 2004 working group, is quoted as saying “The UK Government was recognised internationally as having taken the lead in encouraging the responsible development of nanotechnologies when it commissioned our 2004 report. So it is disappointing that the lack of progress on our recommendations means that this early advantage has been lost.”

2 thoughts on “The Royal Society’s verdict on the UK government’s nanotech performance”

  1. This quote was reiterated by Jonathon Porritt at Forum for the Future’s event ‘The Future of Nanotechnology’ yesterday, held at the Science Museum. More information can be found at: Unfortunately, there weren’t any conclusions drawn above the outlining of several future scenarios as to what might happen in the public’s acceptance or not of nanotech – but then, they did say a more in-depth representation could be found on the site…

  2. Jonathon Porritt was one of the working party on the Royal Society report, so it’s not surprising that he should echo Ann Dowling’s comments. It’s interesting, though, how much the other submissions to the CST review express similar sentiments (with the possible exception of ENTA, the european nanotechnology trade alliance).

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