Contemplating the Implications of a Nanotechnology “Revolution”
Since the industrial revolution, various groups and associations have voiced concern over the potential negative effects of numerous new technologies. Such groups often claim to represent the overlooked interests of civil society, and focus on ethical and political issues such as inequality (see Foladori and Invernizzi, ch. 2). In the case of nanotechnology, the ETC Group (see ch. 10) and Greenpeace have helped focus media attention on the potential human and environmental risks of nanoparticles, and the Meridian Institute has suggested that nanotechnologies may spawn greater inequalities. In this chapter, Miller represents the position of Friends of the Earth Australia—a branch of the world’s largest federation of environmental organizations with member groups in over seventy-two countries. Friends of the Earth Australia has called for public involvement in technology decision making and for assessments of nanotechnology’s potential to address issues of exacerbating inequities alongside basic questions of safety (see Walsh and Medley, ch. 18). Miller voices concerns about potential human and environmental harms that are typically raised by those who engage in organized resistance to the otherwise unquestioned promotion of nanotechnologies, and does so by critiquing the more conventional futures (such as those presented by Kennedy, ch. 1; Kundahl, ch. 15; or Meyyappan, ch. 20). – Eds.
KeywordsIndustrial Revolution Food Sovereignty Nanotechnology Research Human Enhancement Australian Government Department
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