Monday, July 31, 2006

Debating nano: Foresight vs. ETC

Popular Science just published an interesting online debate on the potential dangers and public reactions of nano. At the very least it provides a good overview of the current talking points on both sides.
"[I]s nanotech getting an unfairly bad rap? Manipulation of materials at the nano level has potentially ground-breaking applications for medicine, for example [...] , and some scientists worry that one of the industry’s biggest challenges will be overcoming its PR problem.

To get to the heart of the issue, we talked to two experts on opposing sides of the debate. Hope Shand, research director of Ontario-based human rights organization ETC Group has called for a worldwide moratorium on nanotech until the full scope of the technology, and its risks, can be understood. Christine Peterson is founder and VP of Public Policy for the Foresight Institute, a think-tank in Menlo Park, CA dedicated to the beneficial implementation of nanotechnology. Here, they face off about the big picture of this small-scale science."

Popular Science Web exclusive