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Responsible Nanotechnology

Socially responsible development of nanotechnologies

Exploring new thinking around risk, responsibility and innovation in nanoscale science and engineering.


For nearly two decades, massive global investment into nanoscale science and engineering has stimulated the emergence of novel nanotechnology applications. However, Developers, manufacturers, policy makers and consumers are still trying to understand how to ensure the societal benefits of the technology, without running into risk-related roadblocks.


Nature Nanotechnology is one of the premier nanotechnology-based academic journals, and is widely read by academics, developers, manufacturers and policy makers. Risk Innovation Lab director Andrew Maynard is a regular contributor to the Thesis column in the journal, exploring new thinking around risk, responsibility and innovation. Articles are published every three months.


Expose leading nanotechnology researchers, developers, manufacturers and policy makers to new thinking and ideas around developing nanotechnology applications responsively and responsibly.


Nanoscale science and engineering – commonly referred to as nanotechnology – are enabling researchers and developers to create new products and capabilities by designing and constructing materials at the level of atoms and molecules.

The technology is leading to products that are transforming capabilities from producing strong, lightweight materials, to cancer treatment, to next-generation electronics. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over potential societal impacts. Risk Innovation thinking provides a powerful lens through which to understand and guide the technology’s responsible development.


These regular columns in the journal Nature Nanotechnology are covered by general Risk Innovation Lab funds.


Author: Andrew Maynard


Andrew Maynard
Director, Risk Innovation Lab
Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

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