IRG 2: [Nano]Technology for Equitable Development

(Parker, Appelbaum)


IRG 2 researchers believe that nanotechnology (and other emerging technologies) hold the promise of solving some of the world’s most critical problems related to energy scarcity, finite clean water sources, diminished availability of sustainable food resources, and pandemic diseases. Increased international collaboration on technological innovation can help advance progress in these four areas, while also reducing inequality between the global North and South. In a 1st step toward such collaborative innovation, IRG-4 (and CNS) hosted an international conference in Washington, D.C. November 4-6, 2009 to explore these possibilities. The conference was a collaborative effort of CNS-UCSB which organized the conference with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (the host organization), and Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology. The roughly 85 participants came from the US and Europe; China, India, and Brazil, the world’s three largest emerging economies; and Mexico, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and included leading scientists and engineers, government employees and NGO activists, social scientists and new technology business entrepreneurs. Discussion and dialogue were facilitated by the Meridian Institute, an organization committed to increasing more equitable North/South dialogue. A central concern of the conference was how to best manage global science and technology development to ensure that the benefits of technological advancement contribute to equitable development.


We have completed the book manuscript resulting from the conference, consisting of 18 chapters, which are now undergoing final review by Routledge, which hopes to publish later this year.