Nanotechnology innovation as a deus ex machine and potential effects on sustainability in a global context
Author: Tyshenko, Michael G.
Source: International Journal of Nanotechnology, Volume 7, Numbers 2-3, 2010 , pp. 209-223(15)
Publisher: Inderscience Publishers
Abstract:Researchers, governments and industries developing products present the miraculous benefits associated with nanotechnology stating that it will be transformative capable of alleviating water, energy and material shortages globally. Nanotechnology development is framed in this way to discourage early opposition, as those against it would also appear to be against future global social equity. There is little discussion of any potential risks or unequal sharing of benefits resulting from nanotechnology or consideration of secondary impacts that would occur after its introduction as these would tend to stifle innovation. Analysis of the research being undertaken and developed by different countries reveals very different motives for nanotechnology investments. Scrutiny of nanotechnology research funding reveals a disjunction between the main stakeholder's desired benefits compared to its early framing as a modern day saviour or deus ex machina. The major risks from nanotechnology derived pollution, water and energy production to sustainability are discussed within a global context.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Canada
Publication date: January 1, 2010