Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Angels and the Institute For Nanotechnology

Nanotech industry front group use Indymedia to talk to angels

an angel, 15.12.2004 14:02

Nanotech industry front, group Institute of Nanotechnology have taken to using the UK Indymedia Newswire in an attempt to make contact with "Angels Against Nanotechnology".

The Institute is offering the Angels the opportunity to make a presentation at the January meeting of their Advisory Group. The same invitation has been posted on the front page of the Institutes own website and has been sent to the angels email address.

What is the institute?
The role of the institute is to promote the interests of the Nanotech industry in the UK and beyond. They work closely with governments, universities, researchers and companies involved in nanotechnology and undertake work to assess, promote and expand the nanotech industry in the UK and Europe.

The institute pride themselves on their close links with industry and has worked with companies such as BP, ICI, Unilever, Syngenta, GSK, BNFL, Toshiba, Sharp and General Electric

Current corporate members of the institute include Unilever, Degussa, Lot Oriel, Sulzer, Veeco, QinetiQ, INSTM, Toshiba, Merck and ICI

Angels Against Nanotech

Indymedia postings about the recent Angels action:
press release

The origianal invitation from the Institute of Nanotechnology can be seen as comment 11 at

repost of original invite

15.12.2004 14:10

reposted from

Invitation to Present

13.12.2004 13:53
The Institute of Nanotechnology has extended an invitation to the 'Angels Against Nanotech' to present their views at the next meeting of the Advisory Group of the Institute, on January 20th in London.

"Nanotechnology is about the design of many new products using our understanding of about how things work at the very small scale. We all benefit already from nanotechnology - it has led to the invention of DVD players, life-saving air bags in our cars and is now leading to successful treatments for hitherto fatal brain tumours".

"Those of us involved in nanotechnology are keen to explore any public concerns. I unreservedly recommend interested individuals read the recent independent study by the Royal Society / Royal Academy of Engineering on 'Nanosciences and nanotechnologies - opportunities and uncertainties' This report can be downloaded free at This reflects very much the views and attitude of the Institute", stated Ottilia Saxl, CEO of the Institute.

Institute of Nanotechnology

an angel

Reply from the Angels

15.12.2004 14:13

Dear Institute of Nanotechnology,

We write to decline your invitation to make a presentation at your earthly gathering in January. Firstly, we are flattered by the lengths to which you have gone to make contact with us. However, having had several long meetings on the matter (yes even in heaven there are meetings), the angels have decided that we have little to gain by entering into dialogue with an organisation that can only ever represent the interests of industry and not the concerns of the public (and quite frankly we smell a PR scented rat). Given your role as arch promoters of the Nanotech industry (and indeed being in their pay) we suspect that your intentions are not pure. Perhaps your aim is to clip our wings by attempting to either co-opt or contain us? At the very least we fear that as we fail to find common ground over dinner conversation will become a little stilted.

The debate about nanotechnology needs to take in the public domain and not behind closed doors.

So the Angels will remain enigmatic, aloof and mysterious until our next earthly appearance.

The Angels will remain free!

Happy Solstice
Love from
The Angels

Angels Against Nanotechnology

Sunday, December 12, 2004

see the video.. join the discussion

Short Video of THRONG's most recent visitation is now available on indymedia here.

long and interesting discussions on indymedia to be found here.


Friday, December 10, 2004

updates... pictures.. chat...

Photographs of THRONG's most recent visitation on can now be found at

see also this discussion and this logo and leaflet

some reports mentioning the visitation at TNT Blog, nanobot blog,Demos , soft machine blog and nanotsunami ... its also reported on the EU's official news service.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A Nano-hymn

Hark the throng of angels sing, nanotech's a dodgy thing
Piece by piece the world defiled
Godlike science running wild
Careful al ye people wise
Nano could be your demise
We will not cooperate
With your corporate nano-state
Hark the throng of angels sing, nanotech's a dodgy thing

Award Speech given by Sarah Phimn

Award Speech given by Sarah Phimn, THRONG Archangel, at "Nanotechnology-Delivering Business Advantage" conference, Bucks UK - 9th Dec 2004

"Brothers and sisters

Be not afraid. We have tidings of great importance. We are here on behalf of THRONG (The Heavenly Righteous Opposed to Nanotech Greed) to hand over the first ever "Can of Worms Award" to a representative of the nanotech industry.

We have been watching the earthly plain for many millennia and from the firmament we have noticed of late many fools rushing into the great nanotechnology gamble. This causes us much concern. Those we see rushing into nanotech include: the great foolish armies of the world; the foolish US president and of course the transnational companies fresh from making foolish things such as weapons (like BAE Systems), pesticides (like BASF) and GM Crops (Syngenta).

Where these nano fools rush in, we angels fear to tread.

Our angelic host will pass out amongst you hymnals to explain our concern.

And its not just us in the heavenly high getting our halos in a twist about small things. Environmental groups, the insurance industry, trade unions ... why even royals and royal societies are issuing stern warnings:

- about the toxicity of nanoparticles.
- about the military use of nanotechnologies.
- about how nanosensors will increase control and surveillance.
- about how nanotechnology will strengthen corporate power.
- about patents on matter.
- about circumventing disability rights.

It is clear to us that the emerging field of Nanotechnology is an almighty can of worms fraught with problems, dangers and, lets face it, really bad PR problems..

And so we are here to present the first ever Can of Worms Award to:

Mr Harry Swan (of Thomas Swan and Co.)

Now.. you might not all realise but Harry is no stranger to opening messy cans of worms.

He was PR spokesperson for Monsanto. He had the job of convincing the British public that they wanted GM foods. Oops!

Later Harry took a job with a company that helps big oil and biotech companies attack environmental and human rights groups. tut tut!

But with an unerring nose for new cans of worms, Harry has now returned to the family firm to stake its future on becoming the UK's major producer of carbon nanotubes - toxic asbestos-like fibres.

Harry, with neither regulations, safety tests or a clear liability regime in place for nanotechnology we can already hear those worms squirming .. You are a very deserved winner of this can of worms..

But really we would advise you NOT to open it...."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Press Release: Nanotech Protest

ATTN: News, Environment, Science, Technology, picture desk

Angels Disrupt Nanotech Conference and Present 'Can of Worms' Award to former Monsanto Man.

Buckinghamshire, UK, 9th Dec 2004

A host of heavenly angels from THRONG (The Heavenly Righteous Opposed to Nanotech Greed) appeared today unto a nanotechnology business conference in order to bestow a "Can of Worms" Award on a representative of the Nanotechnology Industry. Chosen to receive the award was Mr Harry Swan, formerly of Monsanto, who is Nanotechnology manager of Britain's leading producer of carbon nanotubes, Thomas Swan & Co.

Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the levels of atoms and molecules (a million nano-angels can dance on the head of a pin), is being touted to Industry as “the next big thing” despite major concerns over its safety and disruptive societal impacts.

Holding a banner that read “Nanotechnology - its not big and its not clever”, a dozen angels sang a melodic chorus of “Hark the throng of angels sing, Nanotech's a dodgy thing” as the “Can of Worms” award was presented by THRONG archangel Sarah Phimn. She cautioned delegates against the foolish attempt to rush nanotechnology to market: “Where these nano fools rush in we angels fear to tread”, she said.

The “Nanotechnology - Delivering Business Advantage” conference is intended to convince UK businesses to adopt this controversial set of technologies. The conference, featuring speakers from arms company BAE and chemical giant ICI, is in part sponsored by The Institute of Nanotechnology - a UK Nanotech Trade Group whose backers include GM crop company Syngenta, food giant Unilever and defence contractor Qinetiq.

“The same greedy corporations who messed with the genetic basis of life are now seeking to alter and privatize nature right down to the atomic level”, explained THRONG spokesangel Pandora Spocks. “We want to warn companies attending this conference that getting into nanotech is really not a clever idea – for society or their business”

This is the first in what is hoped to become an annual “Can of Worms” award ceremony. This year's prizewinner, Harry Swan, is very familiar with opening cans of worms: He was responsible for Monsanto's public relations attempt to convince the public to accept GM foods - just a small taste of the bigger controversy over nanotechnology still to come.

Notes to Editors:
- For more details, photos and video contact Gabriel: +44(0)7746 411539

- Copies of the information given to delegates and of Sarah Phimns award presentation speech will be available at and

- Details of the conference can be found at

- The Institute of Nanotechnology can be reached at

- THRONG are not affiliated with THONG (but we offer them a tip o' the hat!) see