“ Our imagination seems to be our only limit, as scientists and other experts predict such innovations as toxin-eating nanobots, exoskeletons that enable us to leap walls in a single bound, affordable space travel for everyone, nanofactories that can make anything we want, and even near immortality.” (Lin & Allhoff, 2007) What is our role in this collaborative speculation? Must we be ethically responsible in this endeavour? Whose visions are enabled to reach us? Which determinisms do we critique/accept?
novel ethical and cultural issues convergence of sciences Non-medical/cosmetic - human enhancement Functional foods Remote health monitoring (Manuel Castells, 2000, The Rise of the Network Society, p.72) “ Technological convergence increasingly extends to growing interdependence between the biological and micro-electronics revolutions, both materially and methodologically…Nanotechnology may allow sending tiny microprocessors into the systems of living organisms, including humans
Ethics of public engagement ethics of nano research (experimental vs therapeutic) Regulation of industry “ popular culture exploits scientific dialogue to shape societal acceptance of emerging technology” Bowman et al. (2007). "Are We Really the Prey? Nanotechnology as Science and Science Fiction " Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society 27(6): 435-445. UPSTREAM
paranoia “ commentators urge that time is running out to contemplate the implications of nano” (Baber, 2004)
“ Governing the arena of nanotechnology will only be more challenging if the release of a Hollywood blockbuster heightens public interest and community paranoia.” Bowman, et al. (2007). "Are We Really the Prey? Nanotechnology as Science and Science Fiction " Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society 27(6): 435-445.
it is always possible that we will not establish controls. Or that someone will manage to create artificial, self-reproducing organisms far sooner than anyone expected. If so, it is difficult to anticipate what the consequences might be. (Crichton, 2002, Prey , p. xi) “ When technology bites back” Edward Tenner
brain chips synthetic biology alternative energy source remote health monitoring eating disorder treatment grey goo artificial life bio-weapons green goo self-replicating nano-bots tissue engineering drug delivery biosensors surface properties of implants biological scaffold
Screenshot from: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
“ a new technology stabilizes when the ideas of various interest groups coalesce around a particular design.” Pinch TJ, Bijker W (1987) The social construction of facts and artifacts. In: Bijker W, Hughes TP, Pinch TJ (eds) The social construction of technological systems. MIT, Cambridge, MA, pp 17–50