Nature this week carries an editorial about the recent flurry of activity around public engagement over nanotechnology. This is generally upbeat and approving, reporting the positive side of the messages from the final report of the Nanotechnology Engagement Group, and highlighting some of the interesting outcomes of the Nanodialogues experiments. The Software Control of Matter blog even gets a mention as a “taste of true upstream thinking by nanoscientists”.
As usual, the editorial castigates the governments of the USA and the UK for not responding to the results of this public engagement, particularly in failing to get enough research going on potential environmental and health risks of nanoparticles. “These governments and others not only need to act on this outcome of public engagement, but must also integrate such processes into their departments’ and agencies’ activities.” To be fair, I think we are beginning to see the start of this, in the UK at least.