Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > News > The Ethics and Politics of Nanotechnology

July 10th, 2006

The Ethics and Politics of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnologies currently are one of the most rapidly developing fields of technology with many promising applications in medicine, energy, manufacturing and communication. Like any new technology, it raises ethical issues; and the possible benefits and harms are increasingly discussed, as well as its implications for international relations in science and technology policies. UNESCO can take initiatives to map the ethical dimensions of nanotechnologies from a global perspective, and to explore implications for its Member States and possible actions for the Organization.

(Ed.'s note: "The shaping of the debate by science fiction consideration as would be unfortunate (for example it should be made widely known that the apocalyptic visions of the gray goo scenario or the utopian views of nanomanufacturing are irrealistic in the light of current scientific knowledge)." First, labeling nanomanufacturing as "science fiction" is akin to applying the same label to transcontinental flight at the time of the Wright Brothers; one way or another it is very likely to happen, and probably within the lifetimes of babyboomers. Second, the grey goo scenario, while improbable (and not necessary to the success of current molecular manufacturing proposals), is not without merit; whether bio- or nanotech-based, eventually something like "grey goo" is likely to be within our ability to construct. See for details.

For those who would look a bit further into the future, where the time between new scientific discoveries grows ever shorter (and hence the need to plan grows ever more important), I suggest that starting to plan, now, for nanomanufacturing is a MUST. A good place to start is at the website of The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology at, and at their blog, Responsible Nanotechnololgy at


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application: Ethics and technology hold the key to the success of synthetic biology September 17th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

PETA science consortium experts to present at international nanotechology workshop: PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., Is a Sponsor of Nano Risk Analysis II September 12th, 2014

Preparing for Nano

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012

Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012

Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011

Possible Futures

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible November 25th, 2015

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy: Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier November 22nd, 2015

Quantum Spin Could Create Unstoppable, One-Dimensional Electron Waves: New theory points the way forward to transform atom-thin materials into powerful conductors November 18th, 2015

Pioneering research boosts graphene revolution November 17th, 2015

Molecular Nanotechnology

Rice makes light-driven nanosubmarines: Speedy single-molecule submersibles are a first November 16th, 2015

The World's Smallest Robots: Rise of the Nanomachines Reactions - Uncover the Chemistry in Everyday Life November 4th, 2015

Researchers build nanoscale autonomous walking machine from DNA November 2nd, 2015

Brownian Carnot engine: ICFO researchers develop a microscopic motor with a single particle, lasers and electric fields October 28th, 2015


New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible November 25th, 2015

Scientists design a QKD-based quantum private query with no failure November 25th, 2015

MIT mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale: New formula identifies limits to nanoscale heat transfer, may help optimize devices that convert heat to electricity November 25th, 2015

Physicists explain the unusual behavior of strongly disordered superconductors: Using a theory they developed previously, the scientists have linked superconducting carrier density with the quantum properties of a substance November 25th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic