Dr Cormac Ó Coileáin alongside a graphic representing nanotechnology

The Oireachtas Library & Research Service (L&RS) has published a new Spotlight examining the influence, risks and opportunities of nanotechnology. The new paper examines the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology in Ireland.

Ireland is already benefitting from nanotechnology in information and communication technologies, and it is being used to combat the Covid-19 pandemic through the development of vaccines and rapid tests. However, due to nanotechnology’s rapid rate of development, regulation often struggles keep pace with innovation.

Nanotechnology offers potential technological solutions to meet the challenges of climate change. Moreover, there is an opportunity to put environmental sustainability at the heart of future products by considering the lifecycle of the materials used during the development of nanotechnology and nanomaterials.

The paper was authored by Dr Cormac Ó Coileáin during his time as researcher in residence with the L&RS between January and April 2021. Dr Ó Coileáin is one of six researchers seconded to the Houses of the L&RS as part of the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) public fellowship programme.