Nanotech and Ethics- Societal Implications of Nanotechnological Advances: Are We Ready? - Gillian Hue
From Katie Gentilello
Recent advances in nanotechnology research have captured the imagination of the scientific community and society at large and could have a profound impact on life as we know it. But as the list of potential applications grows; encompassing more than information and communication, energy, industry and medicine; so too grows the potential for irresponsible use or misuse of the technology. Valuable lessons on research regulations and policy development can be learned from the experience of the biomedical, genetic and clinical research fields over the years. While nanotechnology as a discipline is still growing, its far-reaching possibilities should be catalyst enough for scientists and society to begin to carefully consider how to handle the ethical issues that will necessarily arise from its use. From human health and safety, to environmental issues, to a widening gap in access to resources, even if we abandon the dystopian rhetoric of science fiction, we must be mindful of the ethical and social implications as--not after-- these advances are made.