Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers About Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology

Lawrence Erlbaum (2006)
Abstract
No one really knows where nanotechnology is leading, what its pursuit will mean, and how it may affect human and other forms of life. Nevertheless, its research and development are moving briskly into that unknown. It has been suggested that rapid movement towards 'who knows where' is endemic to all technological development; that its researchers pursue it for curiosity and enjoyment, without knowing the consequences, believing that their efforts will be beneficial. Further, that the enthusiasm for development comes with no malicious intent but rather from simple ignorance. Contrary to that commonly held perception about the collective pursuit of technological development, there are individual research scientists and engineers who are quite willing to reflect on the meaning of their work in nanotechnology. Nanotalk is a book of conversations and explorations with thirty five such nano-research scientists and engineers who share their ideas, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs about their work, humanity, nature, change, and the future of the world with nanotechnology. Precisely because of the unknowable nature of nanotechnology research and development, conscientious foresight and ethical reflection are warranted every step of the way. Not only do nanotechnology research and development represent enormous financial commitments, but they also require a profound leap of faith regarding its possible outcomes. Using these conversations as the basis of reflection and deliberation, the author explores the possible significance of nanotechnology to humanity and how it might be pursued conscientiously and ethically.
Keywords Nanotechnology Philosophy  Nanotechnology Moral and ethical aspects  Scientists  Engineers
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Call number T174.7.B37 2005
ISBN(s) 080584810X   9780805848106
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