There has been little change in public awareness of either synthetic biology or nanotechnology since previous surveys, according to this 2013 poll of more than 800 U.S. adults. In the poll, 23 percent of adults say they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology, compared with 31 percent who say the same about nanotechnology. The most common associations that respondents make with synthetic biology are that it is unnatural, man-made, and artificial or that it has to do with reproducing life.
In the First Brazilian Congressional Study Mission on Innovation, a group of Brazilian congressman and senators visited the Wilson Center, State Department, and MIT to discuss innovation policies in the United States.
Enough voluntary initiatives for nanotechnology have been implemented so they can be looked at together, in a comparative sense, and historically, in terms of their relationship to programs that have preceded them. This report provides that analysis for the first time. In Voluntary Initiatives, Regulation, and Nanotechnology Oversight: Charting a Path, Dr. Daniel Fiorino provides a taxonomy of the various types of voluntary initiatives (past and present) and the partnerships that underlie them, as well as an assessment of the factors that are most likely to contribute to program success. As nanotechnologies advance, along with other emerging technologies, voluntary programs will continue to play an important role in the governance portfolio. For this reason, evaluating and learning from these endeavors will remain critical to better oversight. This report is an important contribution to that learning process.
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.
View Recent action in Congress to reauthorize the U.S. federal nanotechnology research program offers the chance to address the social and ethical issues concerning the emerging scientific field, experts say. “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University philosophy professor and author of a new report funded by the Project and the National Science Foundation. The report emphasizes ways in which such topics intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities, including science and technology policy, as well as research funding, regulation and work on public engagement.
View WASHINGTON - Historically, the regulation of dietary supplements has been a significant challenge for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the fact that some of these products are now being manufactured using nanotechnology creates an additional layer of complexity. This new report asks the question: Is FDA equipped to meet the emerging regulatory challenge of dietary supplements that use engineered nanomaterials? The short answer is no.
View • Official Report Release Page Widespread use of nanoscale silver will challenge regulatory agencies to balance important potential benefits against the possibility of significant environmental risk, highlighting the need to identify research priorities concerning this emerging technology, according to a new report released today by the Project.
View Official Report Release Page The inability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to carry out its mandate with respect to simple, low-tech products such as children’s jewelry and toy trains bodes poorly for its ability to oversee the safety of complex, high-tech products made using nanotechnology, according to E. Marla Felcher.
From August 20 to 25, 2008, Peter D. Hart Research Associates conducted a nationwide survey among 1,003 adults about awareness of and attitudes toward both nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Nearly nine in 10 Americans say they have heard just a little or nothing at all about synthetic biology, according to this 2008 report summarizing the survey findings.