About 2020 Science


2020 Science is a personal blog addressing an eclectic range of advances and breakthroughs related to emerging science and technology – predominantly focusing on responsible and sustainable development.


Although I spent many years as a research scientist, a few years back I entered the alternative reality of science policy and communication.  Still under the delusion that “science,” “policy” and “communication” are not mutually exclusive, this blog is a repository for my thoughts and reflections on the challenges of developing and using emerging science and technology for the betterment of society.

Currently serving as the Chief Science Adviser at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, I am heavily involved in the development of responsible nanotechnologies.  An author of over one hundred scientific publications, I spend much of my time these days placing science and technology in a social context for a broader audience.  This includes briefing politicians, industry, environmentalists, journalists (and anyone else who will listen) on smart ways of addressing the challenges of emerging technologies.

Topics that pique my interest include nanotechnology, synthetic biology, science communication and engagement, twenty first century science policy, and socially responsible science (à la Neal Lane’s “Civic Scientist”).

I have a degree in Physics from the University of Birmingham in the UK, and a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge, UK.  I am also the mastermind behind The Twinkie Guide To Nanotechnology – a sobering reminder of what happens when scientists forsake their roots!

A longer, but much more tedious and formal bio can be found here.


The images forming the backdrop and right hand panel of the blog are false-color Transmission Electron Micrographs of single walled carbon nanotubes.  They were taken some years back while I was working on carbon nanotube aerosolization, characterization and exposure.

The material was formed using the High Pressure Carbon Monoxide (HiPCO) process, and is in its unprocessed state.  The images are dominated by self-aligned bundles of carbon nanotubes (green), with some small-diameter bundles.  The red dots are iron particles that act as the catalyst for nanotube growth in the HiPCO process – they are around 5 nm in diameter.  Also just visible in the panel image is non-tubular carbon (the yellow area on the image) – carbon that hasn’t formed nanotubes, and is essentially soot.

For the technically minded, the image was taken on an aging Philips EM 420 TEM, using a Gatan CCD.  It was processed in ImageJ and Adobe Photoshop.

Andrew Maynard.  December 2008

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