June 24, 2008
Panel Reviews Federal Nanotechnology Efforts
NANOTECHNOLOGY Federal agencies are addressing SH&E questions related to nanotechnology in a sound manner, according to a report issued by the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel established under the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NM) was last reviewed in 2005.
In its report, "The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Second Assessment and Recommendations of the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel," the PCAST panel states, "The NNI continues to be a highly successful model for an interagency program; it is well organized and well managed ... [and its] approach for addressing [SH&E] research under the NNI is sound."
The panel recommends that the federal government help support the development of a battery of tests or "minimum data sets" of physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials that researchers would be expected to conduct, and calls for wide distribution of nonproprietary information about the properties of nanomaterials. In addition, the panel takes the stance that calls to establish a separate agency or office devoted to nanotechnology SH&E research are misguided and may actually reduce research on beneficial applications and on risk.
The report is available at www.ostp .gov/galleries/pcast/ pcast_nnap_nni _assessment_2008.pdf.
Copyright American Society of Safety Engineers Jun 2008
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