Nanotechnology and Beyond: Public and Corporate Strategy

This Thursday, 24 February 2005, 5pm for 5.15pm

a CRASSH event, in association with the RSA Forum for Technology, Citizens and the Market at CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX

** Question Time format **

Should the public have a say in what science private companies pursue? If so, what form should public engagement take? Alternatively, should commercial science be free to pursue whatever research direction is most profitable? Would public interference merely lead to commercial science leaving the UK?

Panellists include:

Dr Tom Wakeford (PEALS, Bioscience Centre, Newcastle)

Research interests: Action-research, particularly participatory methods in the UK and internationally, such as citizens’ juries. Biology and evolution. Democratisation of science and technology, with a special interest in bio-knowledge and biotechnology. Popular science writing.

Dr Jack Stilgoe (Demos)

Jack is working on a range of science, technology and society projects at Demos including “Nanotechnology and sustainability” – an ESRC funded project being conducted jointly with Lancaster University (ongoing research until January 2006).

Before joining Demos, Jack was a research fellow in the Science and Technology Studies department at University College, London, where he was looking at debates involving scientists and the public around the possible health risks of mobile phones.

In September 2004, Demos argued in the report See-through Science, that spurred on by high profile controversies over BSE, genetically modified crops and now nanotechnology, scientists have gradually started to be more open about their work. But unless they do more to involve the public in debates over new technologies, we may see repeats of the kind of anti-science backlash that happened with GM. The report argues for ‘upstream engagement’ in science policy.

Dr Robert Doubleday (Nanoscience Centre, University of Cambridge)

Interests: social dimensions of nanotechnology. Rob recently contributed to the BBC programme ‘Analysis’ on the subject, see: 1204.txt” target=”_new”>

Chair: Dr Jon Agar (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge) Interests: history of contemporary science, technology and politics; public engagement with commercial science.