Nanotechnologies, Ethics and Politics
H. ten Have
UNESCO Pub., Jan 1, 2007 - Medical - 244 pages
Research in technologies at the atomic and molecular levels is rapidly growing worldwide. Their promising applications in medicine, manufacturing and communication range from the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools to pollutant removal and prevention, as well as to the production of stronger and lighter materials and revolutionary ways of storing, retrieving band disseminating information. Public opinion about nanotechnologies is already divided between hopes nourished by their potential benefits and the fear of their possible harmful effects on the environment and humankind. In the face of this divide, Nanotechnologies, Ethics and Politics engages in a rare kind of prospective ethical revolution: What health and environmental issues arise with the use of new materials produced by nanoscale technologies? How might nanoscale devices be controlled, and what concerns attend military and biomedical applications of nanotechnologies? What opportunities might these bring for international cooperation addressing the most pressing needs of developing countries? This volume brings together 14 experts from around the globe - advisors to the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) - who discuss the state of the art of nanotechnology, examine the controversy surrounding its definition and explore related ethical and political issues. The aim is stimulate a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue about nanoscale technologies among scientists, ethicists, policymakers, special interest groups and the general public.
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