Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Maynard discusses perceptions of nanotechnology research, risk

Internationally recognized research leader Andrew Maynard discussed nanotechnology during a conference held Nov. 10-11 at the University of Delaware.
Internationally recognized research leader Andrew Maynard discussed nanotechnology during a conference held Nov. 10-11 at the University of Delaware.

Abstract:
Internationally recognized research leader and lecturer Andrew Maynard, chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, clarified the public perception of research and risk surrounding nanotechnology at the "Environmental Nanoparticles: Science, Ethics, and Policy" conference held Nov. 10-11 at the University of Delaware.

Maynard discusses perceptions of nanotechnology research, risk

Newark, DE | Posted on November 17th, 2008

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is a Washington, D.C.-based partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts that works closely with government, industry and environmental groups to support science-based decision-making in the development of responsible nanotechnologies.

In his keynote speech, Maynard used humor to remind his diverse audience, which included scientists, engineers, ethicists and science policy experts, of basic concepts: "nano" means "very small," he said, and "nanotechnology is the science of "making very small stuff that does stuff."

He assured the crowd that if they learned the language of nanotechnology, "You might suddenly find you're speaking the same language as the person next to you."

Maynard kept conference attendees laughing, even as he delved into more serious topics, like the fact that scientists and the public regard nanotechnology as a technical revolution, yet nanoparticles are in more and more products, and no one is sure exactly what happens when nanoparticles get released into the environment.

Maynard emphasized the need to "explore the unknown from what is known," explaining that a typical research question asked by scientists in relation to nanoparticles occurs when "a conventional material is engineered to have a nanoscale structure and begins to behave in unconventional ways."

Showing images of material with different shapes, all of which were formed from the same chemical, zinc oxide, Maynard noted that things with "similar chemistry have potentially different risks."

Maynard offered an example to illustrate the importance of maintaining a sense of perspective when studying nanoparticles. "There is a possibility that iron is more hazardous when engineered at the nanoscale," he said. "Do you ban all uses of nanoscale iron or weigh the probability that iron is dangerous?"

The audience's response underscored Maynard's point that when dealing with such research questions, it is critical to take probability into account. How to measure probability? "If you're lucky, and you've got hard data, you can conduct a risk assessment," said Maynard, but if not, one must rely upon one's professional judgment to assess potential risks.

It is also important to consider impacts, Maynard said. "Long carbon nanotubes look like asbestos. What if someone inhales it?" Though the probability of that happening is low, the consequences of even one incident occurring are very serious, he said. "This is a situation when the potential implications justify weighing the probability against the consequences."

Maynard closed his talk with a quote from Douglas Adams: "Don't panic!"

The environmental nanoparticles conference was co-sponsored by UD's Center for Critical Zone Research (CCZR) and the Science, Ethics and Public Policy (SEPP) program, both of which are outgrowths of the Delaware EPSCoR program, funded by the National Science Foundation to develop environmental science research capabilities in Delaware. The NSF and Delaware EPSCoR provided financial support for the conference, which was attended by 100 people.

CCZR Director Donald Sparks and SEPP Director Thomas Powers decided to host the conference to foster better understanding of nanoparticles. Conference presentations addressed the characterization, reactivity, fate, and transport of nanoparticles, their impacts on human and environmental health, their usefulness in sensing and remediation and future nanotechnology policy directions.

Article by Katie Ginder-Vogel
Photo by Tyler Jacobson

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Office of Communications & Marketing
The Academy Building
105 East Main Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: (302) 831-2792

Copyright © University of Delaware

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

Leti and Taiwanese Tech Organizations Sponsoring Workshop in Taipei on MEMS, IoT, Smart Lighting Applications, System Reliability & Security September 28th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Ethics

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application: Ethics and technology hold the key to the success of synthetic biology September 17th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology September 19th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

Announcements

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

Leti and Taiwanese Tech Organizations Sponsoring Workshop in Taipei on MEMS, IoT, Smart Lighting Applications, System Reliability & Security September 28th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

As You Sow’s Shareholder Inquiry on Nanomaterials Fought by Walgreens: Shareholder Proposal Addresses Recent Laboratory Tests Finding Harmful Nanomaterials in Walgreens’ Store Brand Infant Formula September 21st, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Nano-Toxicity Testing at Regulatory Sciences Summit: In Vitro Tests Can Most Efficiently Assess Nanomaterial Toxicity September 6th, 2016

Mathematical nanotoxicoproteomics: Quantitative characterization of effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes: This research article by Dr. Subhash Basak et al. will be published in Current Computer-Aided Drug Design, Volume 12, 2016 September 2nd, 2016

Events/Classes

Leti and Taiwanese Tech Organizations Sponsoring Workshop in Taipei on MEMS, IoT, Smart Lighting Applications, System Reliability & Security September 28th, 2016

Oxford Instruments is ‘Bringing the Nanoworld Together’ in India once again - 22 - 23 November 2016 | IISc Bangalore September 21st, 2016

BBI Solutions launches innovative conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity for lateral flow immunoassays September 20th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic