Posted: December 2, 2009

Nanoethics: Big ethical issues with small technology

(Nanowerk News) Nanotechnology is revolutionising modern science, yet the public has little understanding of its ethical implications - this book explores the philosophy behind this hugely topical contemporary debate. Nanotechnology manipulates matter at the atomic level. It leads to innovative processes and products that are revolutionizing many areas of modern life.
Huge amounts of public funds are being invested in the science, yet the public has little understanding of the technology or its ethical implications. Indeed, the ethical, social and political dimensions of nanotechnology are only beginning to receive the attention they require - outside of science fiction contexts.
Surveillance devices may become so small that they are practically invisible to the naked eye, raising concerns about privacy.
Nanomedicine may lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic devices, yet anxieties have been raised about the impact of 'nanobots' circulating in our bodies.
Military applications, or misuses, of nanotechnology raise other concerns.
This book explores in an accessible and informative way how nanotechnology is likely to impact the lives of ordinary people in the coming years and why ethical reflection on nanotechnology is needed now. Articulate, provocative and stimulating, this timely book will make a significant contribution to one of the most important debates of our time.
"Think Now" is a new series of books which examines central contemporary social and political issues from a philosophical perspective. These books aim to be accessible, rather than overly technical, bringing philosophical rigour to modern questions which matter the most to us. Provocative yet engaging, the authors take a stand on political and cultural themes of interest to any intelligent reader.
Source: Continuum