Science and Technology Innovation Program
View The ability to eliminate waste and toxins from production processes early on, to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and to remove contaminants from water is becoming an exciting reality with nanotechnology. This “green nanotechnology” involves designing nanoproducts for the environment and with the environment in mind. Last spring, stakeholders came together to participate in a series of dialogues on the topic, hosted by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. This report highlights the research breakthroughs, industry perspectives, and policy options discussed at those meetings.
David Rejeski Testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Press coverage of synthetic biology in the United States and Europe increased significantly between 2008 and 2011. This report builds on the project’s earlier study of press coverage in the United States and Europe during the 2003-2008 period. The new report finds an increase in the sheer number of articles about synthetic biology. It further finds that this coverage is driven by high-profile events and that there are growing similarities in how the technology is covered in the United States and Europe. This report also highlights key recommendations from recent reports focused on the press and public engagement.
If people do not know scientists or understand how they work, it follows that they are unlikely to make informed choices on public policy issues or support basic scientific research to address vital issues like climate change and conservation, writes Wilson Center Scholar Louise Lief.
View State and local governments often have adopted trailblazing initiatives to address environmental, health and safety concerns in advance or in lieu of federal action. With nanotechnology, an emerging field of science with unknown risks, this practice is continuing, a landmark study has found. “In the absence of action at the federal level, local and state governments may begin to explore their options for oversight of nanotechnology,” says author Suellen Keiner. The report discusses possible options for state and local governments to follow that would allow for oversight of the potential negative impacts of nanotechnology – including local air, waste and water regulations, as well as labeling and worker safety requirements.
David Bollier, Director, Information Commons Project, New America Foundation; Author of Public Assets, Private Profits: Reclaiming the American Commons in an Age of Market EnclosureRead Bollier's report and the conference proceedings addressing current policy issues related to the commons of nature, information, science, and culture.
View Existing health and safety agencies are unable to cope with the risk assessment, standard setting and oversight challenges of advancing nanotechnology. The nation needs a new agency to address current forms of pollution and to deal with the health and environmental impacts of the technically complex products promised by rapid 21st century scientific advances. In this landmark report, Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology, J. Clarence (Terry) Davies calls for a new Department of Environmental and Consumer Protection to oversee product regulation, pollution control and monitoring, and technology assessment.
Managing just one computer can tax the average person's technical capabilities. How do we thrive in a world where we might be connected to thousands of computational devices, which are connected to each other? This seminar and discussion explored the emerging world of autonomic computing. The video of the meeting is available here.