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Government-funded Nanotechnology Reports: Who Reads Them?

Governments continue to commission studies to figure out what do with nanotechnology, but it seems nobody reads them

1 min read

I imagine like most other governments intent on figuring out how to make the most out of the promise of nanotechnology, the UK government requests a number of reports to research how it and business can position itself to best exploit the so-called “nanotechnology industry”.

A couple of the latest of these UK reports have come under scrutiny by nano-focused blogs. In one, our old friend TNT Log, highlighted in yesterday’s post, takes a critical look at a study entitled: Nanotechnology: a UK Industry View.

In the other, a new blog that focuses on nanotechnology called 10minus9 takes on another report that appears on the UK government’s Science: So What? website that presents what the future jobs might be.

While TNT Log takes apart the thread-worn recommendations trotted out for seemingly the millionth time of the UK Industry Review report, at least that report was based on the underlying science of nanotechnology. The report under 10minus9’s scrutiny doesn’t appear to burden itself with picky details like science.

The jobs-of-the-future report was produced by consultants at Fast Future Research and comes up with one job in the future called a nano-medic that may have excited the noted intellectual Stephen Fry to exclaim that this was the job he would like to have, but unfortunately had a rather strange description that included “creating sub-atomic devices”. 

The 10minus9 blog does a good job of simply explaining how we are not likely to be making sub-atomic devices soon, or ever, and that the consultants apparently based their sloppy work on a rather slim foundation.

But after all the hullabaloo that this report seemed to have generated, including favorable reviews from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Science Minister Lord Drayson, you have to wonder, as does 10minus9, if anyone bothers actually to read these reports.



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