Nanotechnology has the power to affect every aspect of life on the planet. Here, the Ecologist presents the many claims of its promoters and outlines some of the major developments taking place now or in the near future. In response, some of it’s leading critics analyse the risks that nanotechnology poses in their various fields of expertise.
Since defeating the government in 1984 over its compulsory warble fly erradication scheme, Mark Purdey has been travelling the world to find the real cause of BSE and vCJD. His conclusions are controversial, fascinating, and if proved right, will cost the government millions in compensation.
Ever since the 1970s we have lived with the growing awareness that our ecosystem is fragile and the perpetual exploitation of our natural resources impossible. By the late 1980s, even The Sun newspaper had its own green correspondent. Everything we buy, use and throw away has an impact somewhere on the ecological continuum, and nowadays the most bullish Western consumers’ consciences are regularly punctured by shards of eco-worry. We also increasingly realise that working ever harder for more possessions, more options, more stuff, doesn’t tend to make us more content.
Public money to the tune of £131,000 has been spent on a report that claims to have found farmers ‘upbeat’ about genetic modification – despite its authors having interviewed only 30 farmers, half of whom had already grown GM crops.
A Norwegian research scientist can trace PCB pollution on the seabed along the Norwegian coast directly back to the manufacturer. Norwegian authorities are considering suing chemical giants such as Monsanto and Bayer for millions of pounds. They may now pay for their misdemeanours, says Tom Erik Økland