Monday, January 30, 2006


My advisor lent me this book today - Nanotalk:
Nanotalk is a book of conversations and explorations with thirty five such nano-research scientists and engineers who share their ideas, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs about their work, humanity, nature, change, and the future of the world with nanotechnology. Precisely because of the unknowable nature of nanotechnology research and development, conscientious foresight and ethical reflection are warranted every step of the way. Not only do nanotechnology research and development represent enormous financial commitments, but they also require a profound leap of faith regarding its possible outcomes. Using these conversations as the basis of reflection and deliberation, the author explores the possible significance of nanotechnology to humanity and how it might be pursued conscientiously and ethically.

I'm excited to check it out.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Small ROI?

Nanotech and Commerciability:
In 2005 global government spending on nanotechnologies totalled $4.8 billion, according to the Cientifica researchers.

They say government nanotechnology funding takes an average of two to three years before it even reaches the lab, and consequently the impact of nanotechnology will only start to be felt from 2007 onwards.

It also warns that much of the government spending is concentrated on research areas with little immediate commercial impact.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Nanoethics Advisory Board

This morning the Nanoethics Group announced its advisory board:
The Nanoethics Group today announced appointing a distinguished list of members to its Advisory Board, as public interest grows concerning nanotechnology’s impact on ethics and society. These new members represent many diverse fields – such as business, education, science, economics, law, medicine, ethics, and more – to provide guidance on an equally-broad range of important issues.

I'm on it, though I am certainly made nano by some of the other distinguished names.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Science podcasts

While I'm on the subject, it would be good to note some very interesting science-related podcasts.

The first is Nature's weekly podcast that covers some hot topics in science. This week: Cosmic collisions, frogs feel the heat, why plants aren't so green, and ant school: the first example of animal teaching.

The second is the Naked Scientists, which is a little more like a high school science class in that it explains a lot of every day things and the science behind them. Plus, there's a nice experiment that you can do at home.

Other science podcasts include Science Friday, The New Scientist, Science@NASA (xml), and Nova ScienceNOW.

This might be the best reason yet to buy a portable mp3 player.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Nano-Hype by David Berube

There is an interesting new book by communications professor (and associate director of Nanoscience and Technology Studies at the USC Nanocenter) David Berube evaluating the hype of nanotech.
In an effort to set the record straight, professor of communication studies David M. Berube has written this thoroughly researched, accessible overview of nanotechnology in contemporary culture. He evaluates the claims and counterclaims about nanotechnology by a broad range of interested parties including government officials and bureaucrats, industry leaders and entrepreneurs, scientists, journalists, and other persons in the media. Berube appraises programs and grand initiatives here and abroad, and he examines the environmental concerns raised by opponents, as well as the government and private responses to these concerns. With so much argumentation on both sides, it is difficult for anyone to determine what is true. Nano-Hype provides up-to-date, objective information to inform the public.

Berube also has a blog associated with the book and that just makes it all the better, so go visit.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Again, I'm late to notice things, but Nanolog is relatively new (and a very welcome addition to the discussion!)
The STS Program at UT Austin is launching an online forum for informed public discussion on nanotechnology, where people from all walks of life and perspectives can share their insights, opinions, questions, and answers about the impacts of nanotechnology.

STS Nanolog will be an interactive online magazine where both scientists and non-scientists can discuss the dynamic and profound effects of nanotechnology on society. It was designed by Takao Inoue, a student at UT-Austin.
Okay, so now I have yet another reason to actually start writing articles out of all the outlines I have.


It should also be noted that all ACS journals now have RSS feeds for their ASAP articles. I do wish they provided an OPML file for the journals instead of having to enter each one individually in to my reader, but beggars can't be choosers...

Update - Nicely, the American Institute of Physics also divides its journals into subcategories. Take this APL RSS feeds page for an example.

Nanotech Environmental, Health and Safety database

Sometimes I'm a little late coming across these things, but eventually I do.
The ICON Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) database contains summaries (abstracts) and citations for research papers related to the EHS implications of nanoscale materials... This database includes only abstracts or summaries of the papers. Some entries have links to full papers, although site registration or payment may be required to access the full content of many of these articles.
A useful resource for those who are interested.