The National Research Council of the National Academies releases its review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research. And it’s not pretty.
Most people acknowledge that innovation is vital to economic and social prosperity. But what do you do when science and technology innovation are in danger of being stymied by bad habits and misguided thinking? One solution: apply a little tough love. Something a new report from the US National Academies does in spades.
By the end of the next US administration, there will be an estimated seven billion people on the planet, all wanting food, shelter, and water, and most of them striving for a first-world quality of life. With dwindling natural resources and an environment struggling to absorb humanity’s assaults, old technologies are coming to the end of their shelf life. Energy security, curing cancer, quality of life in old age, plentiful clean water, climate change—none of these challenges will be met without science and technology innovation.
More to the point, without a constant stream of science and technology innovation, the economy will be starved of the knowledge-capital so desperately needed for stability and growth.
Given this backdrop, you would think that the US federal government would be on top of spotting and navigating around potential barriers to innovation. Yet according to a new report from the National Research Council of the National Academies, the feds seem to have their collective heads in the sand when it comes to ensuring investment in science and technology research delivers sustainable results… Read the rest of this entry »