Environmental, Social, Legal and Ethical Aspects of The Development of Nanotechnologies in Australia
Australia has particular research strengths in nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnology, nanomedicine and nanomaterials and that these need to be at least maintained to give Australia a competitive edge in global science and technology and thus minimise the risk of losing out on the potential benefits of nanotechnologies
In March 2005 the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council received a comprehensive report on nanotechnology. Following the acceptance of the PMSEIC Report, the Australian Department of Industry Tourism and Resources established a National Nanotechnology Strategy Taskforce to develop options for a National Nanotechnology Strategy. In the present study, the National Nanotechnology Strategy Taskforce commissioned the National Academies Forum (through the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering) to provide their expert opinions on the environmental, social, legal and ethical issues associated with nanotechnologies and to scope a strategic framework for analysis of real and perceived risks.
Nanotechnologies could significantly change a number of industry sectors in Australia such as medicine, energy, water and manufacturing and that strategic planning is needed to manage economic risks and to optimise benefits
The National Academies Forum wishes to express its thanks to those Fellows of the four Academies, and those experts nominated by the Academies, who have contributed to the preparation of this report. The two workshops in Sydney and Melbourne provided many new insights. The Steering Committee, comprised nominees from the four Academies, provided many valuable suggestions to steer the report through several iterations to its final format.
The Steering Committee comprised the following members:
|Dr John Byron FAHA||Professor Vaughan Beck FTSE|
|Professor Robert Clarke FAA||Professor Tony Coady FAHA|
|Professor Sue Dodds FAHA||Dr Peter Hudson FTSE|
|Professor Gerard Milburn FAA||Professor Ian Rae, FTSE|
|Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE||Dr Terrry Turney FTSE|
|Professor John Weckert|
|Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE|
Project Funding and Support
The Workshops were ably facilitated by Dr John Byron, Executive Director, The Australian Academy of the Humanities.
The project was established and managed on behalf of the National Academies Forum by Professor Ian Rae, FTSE, Technical Director, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (to February 2006) and Professor Vaughan Beck, FTSE, Technical Director, ATSE (since February 2006).
The support provided by the National Nanotechnology Strategy Taskforce and the Manager of the Taskforce, Mr David Gallagher, is kindly acknowledged.