On October 31, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Research and Science Education Subcommittee held a hearing on the relationship between environmental and health policy and nanotechnology. The Subcommittee examined how the U.S. can stay at the forefront of scientific research and development, while at the same time establishing priorities and a detailed plan for research on the potential environmental and health risks of engineered nanomaterials. The Science and Technology Committee held two previous hearings on this issue — one in 2005 and another in 2006 — with the objective of reviewing the importance of risk research for achieving the potential benefits of nanotechnology and the efforts of the interagency National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to put in place a research strategy. Progress in developing the research strategy has been slow, however. The hearing explored the status of the planning efforts and received suggestions from outside witnesses on ways to improve the process.
Witnesses at the hearing included:
- Dr. Clayton Teague, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office;
- Mr. Floyd Kvamme, Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology;
- Dr. Vicki Colvin, Executive Director, International Council on Nanotechnology and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Rice University;
- Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars;
- Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense; and
- Mr. Paul D. Ziegler, Chairman of the Nanotechnology Panel, American Chemistry Council.