Nano technology and the economy

Lord Soley

Lord Haskel who oftens puts posts on here talking of the importance of manufacturing led a useful debate last Thursday. I spoke of the importance of science and technology in the 6 minutes allocated to me. I wanted to draw attention to the rapidly expanding influence of nano technology and did so in the following paragraph:

Nanotechnology is of immense importance. This is something that this country is doing an awful lot on but an awful lot of people will not know what it is. It is the manipulation of matter at a sub-atomic level, and enables us to develop new products which are self-generated by the nanotechnology that underpins it. We are very good at that in biology, chemistry and so on. We have a lead on that very largely because of the National Health Service, which provides an enormous market for drugs and many other matters related to the advanced technologies. It is time we not only used that in our exports around the world-which we do-but recognised that many people look to the health service; which, for reasons that escape me, we keep reorganising, with some bizarre idea that yet another reorganisation will somehow answer these problems. Many people overseas look to not only the science-the biology and chemistry-underpinning what the National Health Services does for us but to its organisation. We could actually sell that service overseas.

The full debate and the rest of my contribution can be read here:

10 comments for “Nano technology and the economy

  1. Gareth Howell
    11/12/2011 at 12:22 pm

    health service; which, for reasons that escape me, we keep reorganising, with some bizarre idea that yet another reorganisation will somehow answer these problems

    The computerisation of the NHS has been long and difficult; we do not keep re-organising it.
    The commissioning of the system will take place soon, and local groups are working to explain it to…. GP patients .. and others…

    My links to the relevant Systems are provided on B Deech’s recent lead article here.

    PASCAL, GP Pathfinder,SLAM are some of the search terms to use.


    I regret that knife and fork technology has gone to Pakistan and is in general very poorly made.

    Lord Soley:
    The answer to climate change, which I regard as very serious-I wrote my first article on it back in the 1980s-is not “back to nature” but “forward to science and technology”

    It is both. “NO back to nature is also a denial of primitivist socialism”

    the underpinning work that is done by having hub airports and so on, it will see the same fate as the rail industry

    I object to the new noises of one hub airport
    in Dorset and the dishonest ways in which they have led a campaign to silence local people with regard to its increase. We have always had plenty of aircraft noise from RAF and Army planes, and also bomb explosions for the ranges but to have B airport planes also using the Airspace, is apart from anything else moderately risky.

    They held exercices jointly for worst case fog scenarios in conjunction with the Civil Aviation authorities/Army last year to ensure that ATC(Air traffic control) had the proper systems in place for both kinds of traffic.

    Not a murmur was heard from the local population, due to the professional public relations campaigns in all the villages, whose pollution (noise) has increased drastically as a consequence.

    Noise pollution devalues a property by about 20%.

    I do not share Clive, Lord Soley’s opinions about the virtues of this. Horror of horrors
    on the above site:

    Some organs will be replaceable. Many organs in the body perform fairly simple functions. Already, sophisticated machinery can replace lung function for hours, heart function for months, and kidney function for years. Since MM can build machines smaller than cells, many other organs will be candidates for replacement or augmentation, including skin, muscles, various digestive organs, and some sensory functions.

    I am a firm believer, as somebody with pathology practitioners in the family,in the holiness of the human body, its HOLISTIC and therefore PREVENTIVE needs.

    The above quote goes to show that nanotechnology is non holistic and thoroughly

    There Milord we part company!

    Primitivist socialism, back to nature, might well effect a cure and have healing powers, where parts replacement would merely do the same, and not nearly as well!

  2. Twm O'r Nant
    11/12/2011 at 12:31 pm

    Graphene does of course have an extraordinary future, and may not be excluded from nano- technology considerations.

  3. MilesJSD
    12/12/2011 at 2:15 am

    Teach it as it always has been, a reliably good and progressive Illnesses Sector;

    it has never been a successful daily-health and longterm-wellbeing building service;
    even GPs admit this.
    Time to start “selling” a cleaned-up English language all round, at the same time.

    As an individual human developer, try reading the Preface to
    “Awareness Through Movement” (Feldenkrais);

    the Conclusion to
    “Six Thinking Hats” (de Bono);

    and either the blurb outside the back cover or the author’s Introduction at the beginning of
    “How To Win Every Argument” (Pirie).

    You will start discovering endless, and helpful, sequences of nano-awarenesses and effort-optimising abilities within your very own skin.
    That is what the World of individual human beings needs, and what every governmental, educational, health, and illnesses service needs to start encouraging and facilitating.

  4. Gareth Howell
    14/12/2011 at 10:06 am

    We should always be looking for local ie UK references on a local(Houses of Parliament blog
    Here is the London UCL and Imperial Coll contribution which is the best I can find.

    The images are very good, and unlike some other commercial sites, NOT extremely expensive.

    I had to use .uk on my search engine to find that.

    Some first rate links viz the one below, on zero emissions using hydrogen thanks to nano

  5. Gar
    14/12/2011 at 10:20 am

    On the subject of ” nano-” compared with “billionths”. perhaps Milesjsd thinks that we should substitute all the old definitons in favour of “Yotta”(quadrillions) to “Yocto”(quadrillionths)

    The -ionths system is more complex and long winded but are they both SI(Systeme Internationale) systems.

    Detailed understanding of all the measuring systems, and their apparent foibles, is one of the keys to deep knowledge of physics and modern science.


    for milesjsd to get his teeth into.

  6. Gareth Howell
    14/12/2011 at 11:10 am

    If you enter the scientific notation of IE24 on your search engine, you get the above.

    Entering IE-24 does not respond to anything in particular, except that it is noticeable that some links are now describing IE24 as IE+24, to distinguish “Yotta-” from “Yocto-” .

    For this discussion of Nano- (the minus power)the plus power is Giga-

    Here is one of the foibles which should be corrected in British English, common usage.

    Heh Heh! as follows

    “In South Asian English, it is known as 100 crore or 1 arab”…….. obviously more reliable!

  7. Twm O'r Nant
    18/12/2011 at 8:37 am

    I very much regret the inadequate thinking of some people in Dorset, and have to express my sympathies for erecting solar panels on

    North west and West facing roofs, because they are told the visual amenity is spoiled
    putting them on the south facing roof.

    Whoever tells them that, or whichever group, are total imbeciles. On a south facing roof catching the sun at all times of the year when it shines in this country they are modestly viable as producers of electricity.
    They are also elegant and attractive, IN SUCH A POSITION.

    On anything other than a south facing roof they are a DISASTER AND EXTREMELY UGLY.

    However nano-technology will soon make the poorly placed panels less of an economic burden on those who have misplaced them!

    If you put up panels which make a CONSTANT LOSS IN PERPETUITY,A DEAD LOSS, rather than covering their own costs in about 7-10 years on a south facing roof, it will surely be some consolation that people who do the same in a few year’s time will be able to do so more cheaply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They HAVE TO BE on south facing rooves. There is no alternative.

    If you want an expensive status symbol,and a dead loss, then go right ahead!

    If you don’t then call back the installers and do the decent thing! Give us something elegant, attractive and well thought out to think about.

    I had an African friend to stay from Zambia, and he remarked that the local village reminded him

    “Very much of home, all thatched huts”

    My reply was

    “Yes and nearly all natives too!”

    at which he laughed. He was working in the German car industry, and saving for a fine retirement home in his … native country, properly built and with….. solar panels.

  8. Father Christmas
    20/12/2011 at 12:55 pm

    The question of impending nano-technology for solar power is so inadequately addressed in conservation areas that I feel I should put in an appeal for parliament to hear it properly, and their lordships’ house can be a good place to put such appeals.

    Permitted planning use in conservation areas
    includes the term “visual amenity” for solar panels.

    However if they can be seen from the road, or afar, thatched cottagers, object on that basis, and require the panels to be erected on non-profitable sides of the house, west or east or sometimes worse.

    My understanding of the meaning of “elegance”
    in mathematical terms and any aesthetic mode is that it is a very good proof.

    The proof of the visual amenity of solar panels or even tiles is that they harness
    the sun in a very creative and renewable way, which is entirely elegant.

    Thatched cottagers whose homes are intrinsically, very cold, do not live in elegant homes, by any stretch of the imagination. They are basically upgraded hovels, with grandiose claims for the hovelling, promoted by paternalist entrepreneurs of the late 19thC.

    A south facing roof with panelling on it, is thoroughly elegant structure.

    A thatched cottage with derelict straw, not even reed, brought very expensively from the reed beds of Europe, not Norfolk or even England, with birds in the roof, mice and rats in the straw, is just about one of the ugliest mathemetical concoctions that anybody could possibly consider. Thoroughly inelegant, and crass grass! Those made of
    concrete slabs are even worse, very cold indeed,AND they can not take solar panels.

    Conservation area law needs to be reconsidered……… AND SOON!

  9. 20/12/2011 at 2:04 pm

    Does technology even have to be this ‘small’ to have an impact on the economy?

    We recently outlined some fairly obvious points about home technology and thrift in consumer behaviour – with this sort of demand, there are plenty of opportunities out there for all tech businesses to make an impact on our struggling economy.

  10. Father Christmas
    21/12/2011 at 8:38 am

    All I can say is, Mr Intelligent homes, before I go out on my rounds delivering presents down chimneys, on Xmas Eve, that if I see solar panels well placed on the south side of the house in the northerly climes of the whole of the UK, I know that I am going to get a kind and warm reception, by people who understand the meaning of Christmas;

    If I see a thatch, I can be far from sure I will get a welcome at all, and the straw scratches so much when I climb up it with my sacks that it even damages the sacks.

    As Tolkein pointed out, the little people who live in such houses are less than human, and thoroughly ungenerous to more normal people, who like the hygiene and modern technology that you describe, and promote.

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