Second progress report - 30 September 2003
In discussions at the meeting on 30 July and afterwards,
members of the working group
agreed that they wish to consult further with a range
of interested parties including scientists and engineers,
industry, NGOs and policy-makers, as well as the public.
A number of activities are planned and more details
are given below. Further information about the study
is available on the website http://www.nanotec.org.uk.
The next meeting of the working group will be 19 November.
Scientists/engineers workshop (30
The working group will use this meeting to gather evidence
from the scientific community (including industry).
The meeting will focus on the first two terms of reference:
- define what is meant by nanoscience
and nanotechnology and summarise the current state
of scientific knowledge about these fields;
- identify the specific applications of
the new technologies, in particular where nanotechnology
is already in use, how it might be used in future
and the most likely timeframe for such developments;
Participants will be predominantly scientists and engineers,
with a number of experts who can recognize and start
to consider where there might be health, safety and
environmental impacts of the technology.
NGOs workshop (30 October 2003)
At this small workshop the working group will consult
and discuss issues with a range of non-governmental
organisations. The working group will prepare questions
or issues they would like to discuss at this meeting.
Participants will have the opportunity to help set the
We plan to publish summary reports of both of these
meetings on the website and there will be an opportunity
for interested parties to comment.
The working group agreed to invite market research companies
to tender for research into public attitudes to nanotechnology
and this process is underway. We expect the research
to take approximately two months, and it will consist
of two strands:
- a public survey with 1000-2000 people
to establish what is the awareness of nanotechnology
amongst members of the public.
- one or two in-depth workshops with members
of the public to explore their ideas about nanotechnology,
and to identify and discuss any potential concerns
or questions that might arise. During parts of the
workshops, scientific experts will be available.
This work will be followed by a month-long web consultation,
which will enable the public at large to engage with
the project and inform the working group’s thinking.
Further meetings with health, safety
and environmental experts and with regulators are planned
during the study and more details of these meetings
will be provided later this year.
In addition to the activities described above, the
working group will have the opportunity to take further
written and oral evidence. This is
likely to be either on issues that the working group
consider have not been fully addressed or from people/organisations
they consider have not yet been sufficiently involved.
We will publish more details about this once the working
group have decided how they wish to proceed.
Details of the First Progress
report - 2 September 2003
of the Third Progres report - 20 January 2004