We here at Medgadget love us some nanotech. That said, compared to other fields of chemistry (or is that physics?) there aren’t a lot of guidelines for how to responsibly develop the technology. Leave it to the British to find the responsible way to do something. We’ll let Lord Selborne take it from here…
Lord Selborne, chair of the working group said: “Nanotechnologies are generating a huge amount of excitement, with the industry growing extremely fast. But business is operating in a climate of technical, social and commercial uncertainty concerning these relatively new technologies. In light of this we are aiming to develop a code, with extensive stakeholder input, that will indicate best practice for companies across the value chain from nanomaterials producers to consumer product retailers.
“By helping companies develop nanotechnologies responsibly, we hope this Code will play an important role in ensuring that nanotechnologies realise their full potential including delivering health, environmental, social and economic benefits.”
The Code will be voluntary with companies being encouraged to publicly explain how they comply with its principles through, for example statements in annual or corporate responsibility reports. The Code will set out expected corporate behaviours and management processes rather than an auditable standard, although indicators of compliance may be developed.
An open consultation will take place in Autumn 2007 when a draft code will be available for comment. More information is available from www.responsiblenanocode.org. The working group aims to publish the Code early in 2008.
It might look like there’s no picture with this post, but in reality we’re experimenting with a new nano-scale picture process. You’ve all got scanning tunneling electron microscopes at your disposal, right?
More from the Royal Society…