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Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society by David H. Guston

Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society


Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society by David H. Guston

Nanoscience is an exploding field that has been described as the Next Big Thing, equivalent to a New Industrial Revolution. The fields touched by its applications include information technology, biotechnology and health care, energy production and utilization, security and national defense, food and agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, and environmental improvement. 2004 saw publication of two huge multi-volume works (Schwarz and Nalwa), but as a January 2005 Choice review noted, the field is changing so rapidly you almost could consider any encyclopedia on the topic obsolete on arrival. While that may be somewhat true of specific details of a fast-moving technology, more enduring will be the social issues raised by emerging technologies like these. That same Choice review noted neither of the new encyclopedias attempted to deal with such issues, focusing instead on engineering aspects, oso economic and social implications of nanoresearch await treatment.oe We propose to provide that treatment in an encyclopedia covering the ethical, legal, policy, social, economic, and business issues raised by the science and the technology. Because of their far-reaching consequences, truly transformative technologies always generate controversy. Thus, while nanotechnologies hold promise to dramatically improve quality of life, the popular press often focuses on negative specters of a Frankenstein or a PandoraAEs box. Somewhere between the hype of those promising abundance for all and the gloom of those forecasting global doom are social scientists and ethicists attempting to identify and understand the broad implications of nanotechnology, to gauge its promise and acceptance, to assess impacts for decisions by regulatory agencies, and to facilitate the development of judicious policy approaches to new technology options.


....This text is not about the nuts and bolts of the technology per se, but rather how nanoscience is affecting-and affected by-human communities.... Editor Guston (Ph.D., MIT; series editor, Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society) is director and principle investigator of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University; the roughly 200 contributors from an international who's who of academicians, scientists, and think-tank types.... BOTTOM LINE Nanoscience and Society is the set for the rest of us to turn to when confronted with sometimes unnerving reports of frankenfoods or other scare tactics advanced by the Luddite brigade. Strongly recommended for purchase by all public and academic libraries. -- Michael F. Bemis * Library Journal *

About the Author

David H. Guston (B.A., Yale; Ph.D., MIT) is Principal Investigator and Director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), as well as Associate Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and Professor of Political Science. CNS-ASU is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center funded by the National Science Foundation and dedicated to studying the societal implications of nanoscale science and engineering research and improving the societal outcomes of nanotechnologies through enhancing the societal capacity to understand and make informed choices. Dr. Guston's book, Between Politics & Science: Assuring the Integrity & Productivity of Research (Cambridge University Press, 2000) was awarded the 2002 Don K. Price Prize by the American Political Science Association for best book in science and technology policy. He has co-authored Informed Legislatures: Coping with Science in a Democracy (University Press of America, 1996), and he has co-edited The Fragile Contract: University Science & the Federal Government (MIT Press, 1994) and Shaping the Next Generation of Science & Technology Policy (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006). Guston has published over 30 articles and book chapters and made more than 90 research presentations on research and development policy, scientific integrity and responsibility, public participation in technical decision making, peer review, and the politics of science policy. He is the North American editor of the peer-reviewed journal Science & Public Policy and serves on the editorial boards of Nanoethics: The Ethics of Technologies that Converge at the Nanoscale, Review of Policy Research: The Politics & Policy of Science & Technology, and VEST: Nordic Journal of Science & Technology Studies. Guston has served on the National Science Foundation's review panel on Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology (2000-2002) and on the National Academy of Engineering's Steering Committee on Engineering Ethics and Society (2002). He has held visiting positions at Columbia University, the Copenhagen Business School, and the Kent School of Law. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is co-chair of the upcoming 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Science and Technology Policy.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th July 2010


David H. Guston

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SAGE Publications Inc


Contains 2 Hardbacks
1024 pages


Reference works



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