Wilson Center and The Pew Charitable Trusts Expand Efforts To Address Potential Benefits, Risks Of Nanotechnology

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With nanotechnology being described by business and government leaders as "The Next Industrial Revolution," the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced they will expand their efforts to help industry, governments and the public reap nanotechnology's benefits by better anticipating and managing possible environmental and health implications.

"The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is engaged in something very rare in our rapidly changing, technology-driven world," said Wilson Center President and Director Lee Hamilton. "It is working to look over the horizon at one of the most critical technologies of the day and help the nation to stay ahead of the technology curve."

Today's announcement reflects an additional $3 million Pew investment over the next two years. Since it was launched in 2005, the Project has helped jumpstart and shape the nation's understanding of nanotechnologies, and helped policymakers assess industry and government readiness to manage its implications. The Project also developed the first broad inventory of consumer products that claim nano-properties. More information can be found at www.nanotechproject.org.

According to Hamilton, "It has produced objective, in-depth analysis of nanotechnology's potential environmental, health, and social impacts. It is providing sound principles and policy recommendations for coping with and reaping the benefits that nanotechnology promises, and it is bringing together stakeholders from every sector for informed, productive and creative discussion and collaborations. The Project also is fostering a better understanding of how institutions need to change to accommodate this new technology."

"Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize everything from the medicine Americans take to the food they eat, but we also need to understand and manage its risks," said Jim O'Hara, Managing Director of Policy Initiatives and the Health & Human Services Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. "The Project demonstrates how critical thinking and analysis can lead to constructive steps to protect environmental safety and human health."

The Project is led by science policy expert David Rejeski. For more information about the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, log on to www.nanotechproject.org.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on PewHealth.org.

About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide. By 2014, Lux Research estimates that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology.

About the Partners

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and international affairs.

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