"Nano-Savvy Journalism": needs tweaking

The Nanotech Company has published a white paper titled "Nano-Savvy Journalism – 7 things every reporter should know before writing about nanotechnology and 7 questions to ask every nano company," currently available on request using a button on their homepage. It's good overall but needs at least two key tweaks, one on quantum effects and one on nanoscale robotics. Read more for details.

"The novel properties and functions are derived from quantum physics effects that sometimes occur at the nanoscale, that are very different from the physical forces and properties we experience in our daily lives, and they are what make nanotechnology different from other really small stuff like proteins and other molecules." It is not the case that nanotechnology experiences quantum effects and proteins do not. This needs work.

"There are no such things as nanobots…Nanobots and grey goo and self-replicating nano-machines and unicorns and leprechauns are figments of the imagination, period." Journalists should indeed make clear that nanoscale robotic systems do not yet exist (unless one wants to count biological ones), but to group them with leprechuans would be a serious mistake. Even Mihail Roco of the NNI projects robotics in his longer-term nanotechnology plans, as mentioned here in a previous story.

Sorry if there are the nonstandard characters in the quotes, but that's how the original article looks on my screen. –CP

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