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Bio-Informed Emerging Technologies and Their Relation to the Sustainability Aims of Biomimicry

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Synthetic biology, materials chemistry and soft robotics are fast becoming leading disciplines within the field of practices which look to nature for inspiration and opportunities. In this article I discuss how these molecular-scale practices fit within the existing trends of bio-informed design defined at the macro level, that is, bionics, biomimetics and more specifically biomimicry. Based on the metaphysical views underlying bio-informed design practices, I argue that none of them currently fit the biomimicry model, as they are not consistently concerned with environmental sustainability. While biomimetic chemistry loosely belongs to the field of biomimetics, and soft robotics to the field of bionics, both practices have a profound impact on their respective fields, as they question the places of nature and engineers.
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Keywords: Bionics; biomimetics; biomimicry; chemistry; cybernetics; ecology; materials science; sustainability; synthetic biology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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