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Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0470084175
ISBN-10: 0470084170
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a thought-provoking book … Essential reading for scientists entering the realm of nanotechnology." (Nanotechnology Perceptions, July 2008)

"It is recommended reading for scientists and engineers working in all areas of present-day nanoscience and nanotechnology." (Angewandte Chemie, May 13, 2008)

"...this compact collection is highly welcome." (Angewandte Chemie, 2008-47/21)

“…these essays will provide a broad background for those who have yet to discover the many benefits that may result.” (Chemistry and Industry, December 2007)

From the Back Cover

Nanotechnology will eventually impact every area of our world

Nanoethics seeks to examine the potential risks and rewards of applications of nanotechnology. This up-to-date anthology gives the reader an introduction to and basic foundation in nanotechnology and nanoethics, and then delves into near-, mid-, and far-term issues. Comprehensive and authoritative, it:

  • Goes beyond the usual environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns to explore such topics as privacy, nanomedicine, human enhancement, global regulation, military, humanitarianism, education, artificial intelligence, space exploration, life extension, and more

  • Features contributions from forty preeminent experts from academia and industry worldwide, reflecting diverse perspectives

  • Includes seminal works that influence nanoethics today

  • Encourages an informed, proactive approach to nanoethics and advocates addressing new and emerging controversies before they impede progress or impact our welfare

This resource is designed to promote further investigations and a broad and balanced dialogue in nanoethics, dealing with critical issues that will affect the industry as well as society. While this will be a definitive reference for students, scientists in academia and industry, policymakers, and regulators, it's also a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the challenges, principles, and potential of nanotechnology.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470084170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470084175
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fritz Allhoff, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University and a Senior Research Fellow at The Australian National University's Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. He has been a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, a Visiting Academic in the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association.

Most of his writing and teaching is in ethical theory, applied ethics, and the history and philosophy of biology and science. Recently he has been doing a lot of work in ethical issues of emerging technologies as well as in the ethics of terrorism and torture. For the technology part, see *What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter: From Science to Ethics* (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). His next book, *Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture* (University of Chicago Press) should be out sometime next year.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miguel F. Aznar on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
In many books since Eric Drexler's "Engines of Creation," you eventually encounter a paragraph or even a chapter addressing the "ethical and social implications of nanotechnology." While these bits may just whet your appetite, you probably realized that, even if the author had devoted the entire book, the very nature of ethics demands multiple viewpoints.

And that is just what Nanoethics provides: an entire book for 40 diverse authors to explore the debate, put it in context, and analyze how we predict and evaluate risk. They examine issues in health, environment, democracy, policy, privacy, military conflict, education, and developing countries. They conclude with speculation on the ethical issues in the far know, more than a decade out.

The inevitable price of so many authors is occasional repetition, as many introduce their articles with a nod to the seminal Feynman talk suggesting we could eventually build with molecular precision. The welcome benefit of so many authors is a diversity of viewpoints (e.g. Bill Joy and Ray Kurzweil differ on whether to develop powerful technologies). An unbiased viewpoint may be impossible, so it's best to get a multibiased one.

Don't expect simple conclusions because nanotechnology is subject to varying definitions and ethics are always subjective. I was impressed with how fairly the introductory chapter represented the arguments of others who claim that nanotechnology is insufficiently distinct from established fields of chemistry and engineering to warrant its own study of ethics. No use of the straw man for these authors, they made the case so well, I worried the rest of the book would be cancelled.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jesse W. Crowne on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology, is an indpeth discussion of the ethical and moral issues surrounding the impending advances in the field of nanotechnology. The book is comprised of a series of essays and speeches by leaders in the field with broad and varying perspectives and unique insights into this burgeoning area of study. The editors, Fritz Allhoff, Patrick Lin, James Moor, and John Weckert, have done an excellent job of selecting readings that provide valuable information for science enthusiasts and the layperson alike, and ordering these readings in a manner that does not express a bias. This book is one of the first of its kind, and will expand the debate of this ever-improving technology to include the general public. I highly recommend Nanoethics for anyone who cares about the future of technology, production, public safety, human interaction, and the environment.

Nanotechnology is the manipulation or interaction of materials at the molecular level (1-100 nanometers, or 1-100 billionths of a meter). To understand the size, or scale, of a nanometer, one nanometer next to a meter stick would be the same as one blueberry next to the earth. Physical properties at the nano-scale are quite varied when compared to a scale that we are used to. For example, aluminum, which is highly stable and easily manipulated on a large scale, is violently explosive in the presence of air at the nano-scale.

Scientists hope to use nanotechnology to manipulate individual molecules and control production of consumer products to minutely precise specifications. If the goals are successfully achieved, it would be possible to take starting materials (dirt and water) and produce a myriad of products ranging from fresh Atlantic Salmon, to a new car.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good book on the subject of nanotechnology related social effects and ethics. What I especially enjoyed was that it has good articles and discussions on real nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing. Not merely nano particles and nano materials like some books on nanotechnology feature. It has material on self-replicating nanomachines and nanofactories and the work of Drexler, Chris Phoenix, Ralph Merkle, Robert Freitas, and others. It has good information on DIAMONDOID MATERIALS which the human race needs to learn more about.
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