Posted: March 22, 2007

A congressional perspective on the past, present and future of nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) When upstate New York Republican Congressman Sherwood “Sherry” Boehlert retired last year, the U.S. Congress lost its most passionate “cheerleader for science.”
In his 24 years in the House of Representatives, including the last six as chair of the House Science Committee, Boehlert engaged in numerous science policy debates and groundbreaking programs, including the establishment of America’s National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2000. He helped forge bipartisan support for the first U.S. government funds—$422 million—dedicated to nanoscale science and engineering research. And in his last year in Congress, Boehlert chaired several hearings on nanotechnology safety, particularly on the need to create and fund a prioritized federal nanotechnology environmental, health and safety research plan.
What was it like to be present at the creation of the NNI? What are the promises and potential pitfalls of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing, which many predict will enable “The Next Industrial Revolution”?
Robert Service, nanotechnology reporter at Science magazine, interviewed former Congressman Boehlert about the beginnings of the NNI and about the future of this transformative technology. View the archived webcast for details.
  • Sherwood Boehlert, Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Former Chair, House Science Committee.
  • Robert F. Service, Correspondent, Science, Interviewer
  • David Rejeski (moderator), Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Moderator
  • Source: Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
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