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Home > News > Nanotech: Small stuff, big concerns

September 1st, 2006

Nanotech: Small stuff, big concerns

But is 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.

(Ed.'s note: regular readers will understand that they're primarily talking about nanoscale materials (or what Ms. Peterson is calling "passive" nanomaterials) and not molecular manufacturing (what used to be called "nanotechnology") which presents it's own set of concerns. To learn more about molecular manufacturing, visit


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