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Nanoethics Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology by Donal P. O'Mathuna

Nanoethics Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology

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Nanoethics Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology by Donal P. O'Mathuna

Nanotechnology manipulates matter at the atomic level. It leads to innovative processes and products that are revolutionizing many areas of modern life. Huge amounts of public funds are being invested in the science, yet the public has little understanding of the technology or its ethical implications. Indeed, the ethical, social and political dimensions of nanotechnology are only beginning to receive the attention they require outside of science fiction contexts. Surveillance devices may become so small that they are practically invisible to the naked eye, raising concerns about privacy. Nanomedicine may lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic devices, yet anxieties have been raised about the impact of nanobots circulating in our bodies. Military applications, or misuses, of nanotechnology raise other concerns. This book explores in an accessible and informative way how nanotechnology is likely to impact the lives of ordinary people in the coming years and why ethical reflection on nanotechnology is needed now. Articulate, provocative and stimulating, this timely book will make a significant contribution to one of the most important debates of our time.


O'Mathuna (Dublin City Univ., Ireland) introduces readers to the developing field of nanotechnology and the ethical questions this research raises... Particularly noteworthy are the author's use of science fiction films and literature to frame the ethical questions he discusses, and his interest in the intersection of nanotechnology and issues surrounding global poverty and development. Summing up: Recommended -Choice Title mention. December 2009--Morning Star An easily readable well researched book . the issues are well-presented and thought-provoking . Overall an excellent book; essential reading for scientists motivated to pursue some of the more futuristic claims of nanotechnology.--Nanotechnology Perceptions Title mention. December 2009--, Rather than just setting out what is naughty and nice about technology on a very tiny scale, O'Mathuna delves into some of the deeper values and beliefs underlying the fascination with technology generally and recently with nanotechnology. He begins by describing what nanotechnology is, what it does, and where it came from. Then he discusses ethics around it generally, preying on fear, precaution, global nanotech, nanomedicine, becoming better than healthy, making room for human dignity in the posthuman future, and revisiting Daedalus and Icarus. -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc. With such a disruptive technology, it's hardly surprising that ethical questions arise, and they are engagingly discussed in [Nanoethics].--Sanford Lakoff Investigating eye-opening topics such as that of a 'post-human future

'nanobots', this is a fascinating study of our progresssion towards a dystopian society.--Sanford Lakoff Well written and combatively argued, this is a powerful succinct turn that also contains an entertaining chapter on Michael Crichton's Prey--Sanford Lakoff Title mention. December 2009--Sanford Lakoff The underlying ethical approach of the book seems to be sound and is certainly one I warm to.--Sanford Lakoff 'Nanoethics can justifiably be describes as a well-written book for scientists, policy makers and ethicists interested in exploring the issue at greater depth.'--Sanford Lakoff 'O'Mathuna's accessible style enables people who are not necessarily involved with nanotechnology to gain some knowledge of the basics. It also allows scientists to learn more about how human nature could shape the outcomes of nanotechnology... this book is a meaningful contribution for both scientists and non-scientists.'--Sanford Lakoff 'Overall an excellent book; essential reading for scientists motivated to pursue some of the more futuristic claims of nanotechnology.'--Sanford Lakoff Nanoethics: Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology is a very welcome and readable addition to the ethical debates on nanotechnology.--Sanford Lakoff'

About the Author

Donal P. O'Mathuna is Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Decision-Making & Evidence at Dublin City University, Ireland. He has served as an ethicist on a number of ethics committees, and has published widely on bioethics.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th October 2009


Donal P. O'Mathuna

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


248 pages


Ethical issues: scientific & technological developments



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