Nano and development workshop
Wednesday 7th November 2007
Demos, 3rd Floor, Magdalen House, 136 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU
Demos and Practical Action held a workshop for NGOs and scientists, designed to build a new research agenda for nanotechnology and development.
- Mark Welland, Professor of Nanotechnology and Director of the IRC in Nanotechnology at Cambridge University
- Richard Jones, Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield and Senior Strategic Advisor for Nanotechnology at the EPSRC
- David J. Grimshaw, Head of International Programme: New Technologies, Practical Action
Governments and companies are all talking about Nanotechnology – the science of the very small – as the next big technological thing. But with the opportunities come concerns for those people who are too often left out of conversations about technology – the poor. Nano-enthusiasts often point to the benefits for developing countries – in water filtration or new solar cells. But we can’t assume that realising this potential is straightforward.
In 2006, Practical Action and Demos ran a ‘Nanodialogues’ workshop in Zimbabwe to find out more about nano for development.We brought together six scientists and six community representatives to identify problems of and solutions for clean water. At that workshop, our Zimbabwean participants recommended that Western scientists get involved in new sorts of research, directed at these clear human needs. Now, we want to bring together scientists, NGOs and others in the UK, where there is greater potential to fund research looking at development issues. The aim is to come up with a research agenda that blends NGOs’ experiences of development challenges with cutting edge science.
Grants are available for NGOs from the European Union to travel to the workshop - email to find out more.
This workshop is supported by the European Commission’s Science, Technology and Civil Society project (www.peopleandscience.org), which aims at new research from dialogue between scientists and NGOs.