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Illinois 2012: Societal Implications of Nanotechnology in Addressing Grand Global Challenges

By Irfan S. Ahmad

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Published on


Nanotechnology has been heralded by some as a savior of humanity, while the naysayers have advocated placing a moratorium on nanotechnology research. Global challenges in areas of water, energy, health, and environment derive hope from nanotechnology for providing novel solutions. There are now several hundred nanotechnology-based products commercially available, while hundreds more are in the pipeline including those in the areas of agriculture and healthcare. So the question is what are the potential implications of these nanoscale products and materials, and how well to navigate this space while undertaking research and development by looking at cultural, global, medical, legal, safety, security, and environmental factors.


Dr. Irfan S. Ahmad

Executive Director at the University of Illinois Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology

Assistant Dean of Research, College of Engineering (UIUC)

Research Faculty, ABE (UIUC)

Dr. Ahmad received B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, in 1980; the MS and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), IL in 1997.


Produced by/Edit: Nadia Jassim

Music: Ronen Goldstein

Thank You:

ABE I^4 Seminar Coordinator, Dr. Xinlei Wang

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (UIUC)

Sponsored by

The National Science Foundation

The University of Illinois (UIUC)

Beckman Institute (UIUC)



ABE I4 Seminar

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Irfan S. Ahmad (2012), "Illinois 2012: Societal Implications of Nanotechnology in Addressing Grand Global Challenges,"

    BibTex | EndNote



Room 204, Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Nadia Jassim

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tags, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.