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George Atkinson, Sci/Tech Advisor to US Secretary of State

Dr. Atkinson first emphasized that these remarks are personal, not official State Dept views. An early point: Global leadership in science and technology is transitory — the younger people he works with sometimes don’t realize this. He’s explaining how the US finds out what’s happening in S&T overseas: Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technology, in which his department takes 20 senior US researchers to other countries to meet with a similar group there. (I think he said there was also some involvement from young people in those countries.) They’ve already done one on nanosensors and nanostructured materials. Some goals for the US: promote transparency, meritocracy, creativity, critical thinking, respect for diverse views. View from overseas: admiration for US ideas/culture 14-42%, admiration for US science/tech 67-85%. Covered Foresight Nanotech Challenges as intro to what NNI is doing. He urged the nanotech community to get involved in policy formulation. (Errors in the above are my own. — Christine) Update: I asked Dr. Atkinson a question about IP and got a surprising answer: if I understand him correctly, he said that technologies have a timeframe of their own and that the IP process could get overtaken by events.

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