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December 23rd, 2003

2003: nanotechnology in the firing line

2003 was the year when nanotechnology collided with the real world. It was a painful collision, bringing prophecies of doom, fears of hidden dangers and calls for a moratorium on nanoscience. Some of these fears were misinformed, even absurd, and were quickly identified as such. But the appearance of an ethical dimension to nanotechnology may serve the useful purpose of forcing other emerging technologies to confront questions about public understanding and perceptions about social responsibility. And, for nanoscience in particular, it may help to sharpen views about what the field comprises and where it is headed.


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