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Two provocative books about the emerging field of nanotechnology were launched in Sydney this week. Nanotechnology and Global Equality (Pan Stanford Publishing) and Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability (Taylor and Francis) build the case that global prosperity now demands innovation without economic growth, and that nanotechnology shows such innovation is possible.
"Practices like ‘open source nano-innovation' offer game-changing avenues for bypassing inhibitive start-up costs and ensuring scientific knowledge is freely shared" said Dr Donald Maclurcan, Australian author and co-editor of the books and Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute for Nanoscale Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney.
"For the first time in modern history, the right ingredients have surfaced for us to seriously consider innovating without economic growth" Dr Maclurcan said.
A US $254 billion market in 2009, recent data - outlined in the books - shows an expected rise to $2.5 trillion by 2015. More than 60 countries are engaging with nanotechnology research and development at a national level, including 16 ‘developing' countries.
"Nanotechnology research around the world is largely focussed on creating unnecessary products that ensure big gains for multinational corporations and bigger losses for our ecosystems. In a world with biophysical limits and vast injustices, our survival depends on the redirection of science towards human need, not human greed" Dr Maclurcan said.
The books were officially launched by Dr Vijoleta Braach-Maksvytis, former head of nanotechnology at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
About Institute for Nanoscale Technology, University of Technology, Sydney
The Institute for Nanoscale Technology brings together researchers to understand, analyse, model, develop, characterise and exploit nanoscale, mesoscale and microscale materials and structures, with particular focus on developing useful optical and chemical functions in them.
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Dr Donald Maclurcan
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