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Home > News > A Call For Stepping Up “Risk Science”

November 23rd, 2010

A Call For Stepping Up “Risk Science”

Abstract:
Andrew Maynard has been thinking about nanotechnology for a decade, both as a scientist and as a policy wonk. As he looks ahead at the next several decades, he says one of the most difficult problems lies in helping the public understand what scientists are even talking about—and what they should, and shouldn't, fear from the burgeoning field.

"What we've ended up with is not nanotechnology as a science, or as a discipline, but nanotechnology as a brand," Maynard said. "You can't ask the question, ‘Is a brand safe?' That's not a question you can answer. You end up trying to answer a question like, ‘How does yellow taste?'"

Maynard, who recently became the first permanent director of the Risk Science Center at the University of Michigan, says nanotechnology—the science of using really, really small stuff to do often amazing things, using tiny particles with super-properties to make new consumer products and medicines—needs to be explained better. Part of that process, he said, is creating a new way to understand the risks of nanomaterials, a key part of his new job.

Source:
newhavenindependent.org

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