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Posted: September 12, 2007

Tiny solution or a big problem? Scientific panel explores the nano potential for turning green

(Nanowerk News) The pressing urgency to arrest climate change and find workable alternatives to major pollutants has prompted experts to examine the impact of nanotechnology on the environment – does nanotechnology hold the key to environmental protection, or is it likely to further aggravate the issue?
“The jury is still out on whether nanotechnology will prove to be an environmental protector or, in fact, a polluter,” says Aleksandra Kordecka, Chemicals Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe. Her comment reflects the current debate that has polarised the scientific community worldwide.
Leading scientists and academics will come together to present both sides of the issue at a panel discussion to take place on 12 September at 10 a.m. at the University of York. Sponsored by Elsevier, the event is part of the renowned annual event of the British Association for the Advancement of Science – the BA Festival of Science, 9-15 September.
Panelists, including Professor Tony Ryan, ICI Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director of the Polymer Centre at the University of Sheffield; Dr. Gareth Wakefield, nanotechnology consultant; Melanie Smallman, Director of nanotechnology activist group Small Talk, and Aleksandra Kordecka, Chemicals Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, will debate the latest developments in nanotechnology and their potential for creating environmentally friendly products and processes.
"Not many new technologies come along with the claim that they can actually benefit the environment,” said Jonathan Wood, Deputy Editor of Elsevier’s Nano Today. ”Can nanotechnologies really lead to a cleaner, more efficient and less wasteful future? This panel discussion, and the varied opinions of the expert panellists, is sure to provide a lively and timely debate on this controversial subject."
Source: British Association for the Advancement of Science
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