Section of Nanotube
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Final report
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How the study worked
What's happening now
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Nanotechnology and Nanoscience The Royal Society

Nanoscience and nanotechnologies involve studying and working with matter on an ultra-small scale. One nanometre is one-millionth of a millimetre and a single human hair is around 80,000 nanometres in width. The technology stretches across the whole spectrum of science, touching medicine, physics, engineering and chemistry.

Scientists, for example, are looking at whether nanotechnology could be used to improve the delivery of cancer fighting drugs and are examining whether nanoscale carbon could be used to increase the power and speed of computer circuits.

In June 2003 the UK Government commissioned the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK national academy of engineering, to carry out an independent study of likely developments and whether nanotechnology raises or is likely to raise new ethical, health and safety or social issues which are not covered by current regulation.

The final report was published in July 2004. The joint academies remain active in this area, for more information please visit the what's happening now page.


 What's new

Royal Society & Royal Academy of Engineering's response to the Council for Science and Technology's review of progress on UK Government's actions

UK Government's Voluntary Reporting Scheme for engineered nanoparticles

Council for Science and Technology Nanotechnology Review

UK Government's research report -Characterising the potential risks posed by engineered nanoparticles

Royal Society - Science Council of Japan joint workshop on health, environmental and societal impacts of nanotechnologies

UK Government's response to the report's recommendations

Nanoscience & nanotechnologies: a science brief

The Royal Academy of Engineering


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Last updated: 5 January 2005
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This website explains what the study covered and how it was carried out.