Archive for June, 2009

Beyond 2015 will new technologies be employed more equitably?

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 by

A policy forum held in Brussels on Tuesday 23 June 2009 considered the rethinking of development policy beyond 2015.   Many issues were raised in the forum but one of the most frequently mentioned issues was the need to address inequalities in the world.   One clear dimension of inequality relates to the choice of technologies, with poor people often excluded from new technologies and the benefits they can bring.

If new technologies are to benefit poor people in the world it will require an approach to development that moves away from current target driven approaches (the MDGs) towards approaches that are driven by agreed values.   To read more about this approach see the blog at The Broker.

If it is nanotechnology it must be expensive…right?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 by

Not always!   Vicky Colvin (who I met over 3 years ago) and colleagues at Rice University have been working on what I often refer to as a “nano recipe for the poor”.   The recipe uses “nanorust” to remove arsenic from water and according to press reports it is cheap.  The “arsenic-removing technology is based on the unique properties of particles called “nanorust,” tiny bits of iron oxide that are smaller than living cells”.   The “nanorust” binds with arsenic.

Earlier this week Rice University announced that it will do practical tests of this technology in Mexico later this year.   A further benefit of this technology might be that it can filter out water borne viruses in addition to arsenic removal.   Let us monitor the tests and watch with interest as the results come in.