New EU Funded Project Stimulates Nanotech Debate By Paying For Articles In Newspapers

My delight at seeing a sensible piece about “nanotechnology in everyday life” by Colin Stuart (@skyponderer) published in the Guardian Newspaper turned to puzzlement when I noticed that the article was “Paid for by NanoChannels.”

As the unfortunately named Nanochannels is a project funded by the European Union (i.e. taxpayers), albeit run from Israel, it seems a bit odd that the only way that it can disseminate information is by paying The Guardian to publish it. The project seems to have been roundly criticised from all sides, not bad for something only a few months old, and doesn’t even have a project web site. The objectives are laudable

  • informs and communicates with stakeholders and the European lay public using a mix of media, web, and live channels about innovations and controversial issues associated with nanotechnologies;
  • facilitates and encourages stakeholders and the public to participate in dialogues and debates concerning innovations, applications, risks and ethical, legal and societal aspects of NT;
  • brings the European public a step further towards the negotiation of a responsible consensus and building social trust concerning NT issues.

but the execution seems to consist of a multilingual survey and commissioning a  few newspaper articles. Quite bizarre.


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