On Guidebooks, Lists and Nanotechnology

Minerva 51 (4):513-519 (2013)

Much like an exotic city, a computer programme or an artistic exhibition, new technologies often require guidebooks. This is particularly the case for nanotechnology, a multifaceted and diverse research programme characterised by canonical origin stories, seemingly limitless claims about its potential to transform everything from sunscreen to space travel, the nascent ingredients for a public risk controversy and state-level coordination of research funding and support measures. If ever anyone was in any doubt, What is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter? confirms that nanotechnology has arrived.Its authors open with a straightforward narrative outlining the significance of nanotechnology and the importance of understanding what its novelty is, stating:New and emerging technologies both excite and worry us … and nanotechnology today is certainly a flashpoint for irrational exuberance and fears. By definition, there is a knowledge gap during the nascent stages of any new technology, a ..
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DOI 10.1007/s11024-013-9241-y
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Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences.Geoffrey C. Bowker & Susan Leigh Star - 2001 - Journal of the History of Biology 34 (1):212-214.
Test Objects and Other Epistemic Things: A History of a Nanoscale Object.Cyrus C. M. Mody & Michael Lynch - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Science 43 (3):423-458.

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