With the advance of micro and nanotechnology progress is made in many fields of technology. Examples of this are given from work at the MESA+ Institute for nanotechnology at the University of Twente, where the author worked up to 2008. The progress is really amazing and there is real reason for being optimistic about the role of technology for future human development. But technology alone is not able to guarantee well-being as there is also guidance needed to use the new technology according to human dignity. The ethical dimension, therefore, is of great importance and should be considered and studied together with the technological aspects. Only in this way nanotechnology can provide a solid foundation of welfare of human beings.
The talk was presented on June 22, 2007 at the European Meeting of university professors in Rome.