June 11, 2003 – The United Kingdom’s national academy of sciences on Wednesday launched an independent study of the benefits and problems associated with nanotechnology and nanoscience, according to a news release.
The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering study, commissioned by the U.K. government, intends to assess the potential health, safety and environmental impacts of nano applications. It also will consider the ethical and social issues surrounding development, and identify areas where additional regulation needs to be considered. The group aims to complete the study by next spring, and said it will consult the public and others with a stake in the emerging field.
A researcher who will lead the effort said she hopes to “separate the hype and hypothetical from the reality.” Earlier this year, Prince Charles called on the Royal Society to help him weigh the risks of the field after expressing concerns about potential harm if the technology is left to develop unchecked.