small plans: nanotechnology for the building industry

Monday, June 05, 2006

Conference explores design, ethics and nanotechnology

The Experimedia Center at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia will be the site of “Questions for the Future: Ethics, Nanotechnology and Design” on July 13.

The conference is sponsored by lab.3000, a “centre of excellence in design committed to building Victoria’s design capability and reputation across design professionals, creative industries, manufacturing and education.”

Speakers include:

Dr. Peter Binks, CEO of Nanotechnology Victoria Limited and member, Advisory Board for the National Nanotechnology Taskforce, a prominent speaker and writer on issues of nanotechnology, presenting an overview on nanotechnology products.

Mark Seggie, a graphic designer from Resin Design.

Mats Bjorklund will demonstrate how he animates nanotechnology materials, materials too small for the human eye to see.

Professor John St James Stewart Buckeridge, Chair of the Bioethics Committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences, and consultant on environmental ethics to UNESCO’s COMEST, will present an ethical viewpoint on nanotechnology products and materials.


One droplet of this tiny product,” according to Buckeridge’s presentation abstract, “could wipe out the entire US army...... What if?”

That’s one of the oddest tag lines I’ve ever seen for a nanotech talk. What product is he talking about? It certainly doesn’t exist today, nor will it ever exist (if only because the US army’s spread around the globe and couldn’t be isolated to wipe out with a single drop of anything.)

Sounds like another alarmist attention-getter intended to fill seats at the event by raising false fears among the general public.

But I love the idea of a conference focusing on ethics, design and nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is going to change how we design everything, so we’d better start exploring the consequences today. (photo lab.3000)

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