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What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter: From Science to Ethics 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1405175449
ISBN-10: 1405175443
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Editorial Reviews


“This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in why nanotechnology is important and why it matters, and particularly by anyone new to this field. For those already familiar with some (if not all) of the topics that the book covers, there is still some benefit to be gained from reading about some of the latest applications in areas in which they may not have such detailed knowledge.  It also permits the reader to take a critical stance on the topics and arguments raised in the book, especially since the book’s objective is to prompt the dialogue that is needed to achieve further progress and to continue to broaden the debates.”  (Nanoethics, 1 October 2014)”

“However, for the reader looking for general background about nanotechnology and many of its social and ethical issues, the book is worth reading, as long as its arguments are carefully scrutinized and increased understanding of connections among such issues is not expected.”  (Bioethical Inquiry, 2011)

“I highly recommend this book. It is certain that nanotechnology’s advance will continue, affecting many facets of our lives. Fritz Allhof, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore have provided the best available overview of the many changes that one can expect to see as a result of nanotechnology’s continued advances, and the many ethical implications inherent in this advance. While the authors ask many more questions than they answer, they prepare the intellectual landscape for the ethical debates that are certain to take place over the coming years regarding the often-insidious infusion of various manifestations of nanotechnology into our society.”  (Journal of Military Ethics, 19 April 2012)

"In their recent publication, What is Nanotechnology and Why Does it Matter: From Science to Ethics, the authors Fritz Allhoff, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore search for answers to these two questions-questions which, whether directly addressed or not, underlie all scholarly, political, and consumer protection writings on nanotechnology. In this 260 page, thirteen-chapter book, the authors come impressively close to providing satisfying answers to these questions." (Amber Hottes, Nanotechnology Law & Business, Volume 7, Issue 2)

"As with a number of other such books in print, "What is Nanotechnology and why does it Matter?" brings both scientific knowledge and Ethical/Legal/Societal implications (ELSI) to bear. It heralds the profound changes of nanotechnology while attempting to provide an effective way to deliberate ELSI, as nanotechnology unfolds into full development. In seeking to "tame a riot of speculation" [ix], Allhoff, Lin, and Moore reveal much of the complexity of the ongoing discourse on this matter, leaving quandary on multiple related issues. The tripartite layout of the book demarcates particular areas of expertise represented by the individual authors, in an unusual collaboration that brings distinctive breadth to a relatively well-published area of inquiry." (Rosalyn W. Berne, The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law, Volume 11, 10 October 2011)

"The book is well-suited to be used either as a coherent text for introductory courses focused specifically on nanotechnology, or used as stand-alone chapters that can be selected to augment and supplement readings in a wide range of courses in fields such as public policy, engineering, sociology, or philosophy of science. The highly interdisciplinary perspective offered in this book should also serve as a model of how scholars can effectively collaborate across fields in ways that break down obstacles and connect findings across disciplines that are all-too-often isolated." (Evan S. Michelson, Science and Public Policy, 2011)

"Overall What is Nanotechnology and Why does it Matter? From Science to Ethics makes an important contribution to the literature as it offers an overview of the nature and implications of nanotechnology. Scientists, researchers, students, industry executives and policymakers will find this volume extremely informative and useful. As advancements in nanotechnology will take place, further dialogues and debates are needed to move nano-products responsibly into the market." (Fabrice Jotterand, International Journal of Applied Philosophy,2010)

"Undoubtedly, reading this book will stimulate a great deal of discussion, which is, perhaps, its chief merit. From this viewpoint the great breadth of coverage is a definite advantage, because it ensures that there is a great variety of food for thought in the content." (Nanotechnology Perceptions, 1 November 2010)

"This book was very carefully constructed.  Painstaking internal cross-reference refer the reader to fuller discussions of topics in other chapters.  Nearly every chapter, at the start and conclusion, includes a few sentences on scope." (Nanotechnology Law & Business, summer 2010)


"The authors of What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter? answer their question with a broad and balanced examination of the nature of nanotechnology, how it is unfolding, and how these developments will affect issues of global concern: the impact of emerging technologies on the environment, medicine, military affairs, and civil society, and how we can act to achieve better outcomes."
—Eric Drexler, author of Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation

"What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter? provides a concise but clear introduction to the subject of nanotechnology as well as an excellent overview of nanotechnology's ethical and social implications. I highly recommend it."
James Moor, Dartmouth College


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405175443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405175449
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,279,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr Kimberly Kohlhausen on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nanotechnology and nano-ethics are growing at the speed of sound bytes. They are accredited academic disciplines. Read this to begin to be more aware of how nanotechnology is abundant in your life and you don't even recognize it. Read it and see who the USA's top suppliers are- awakening. Read this to make ethical decisions on the way we lead our lives in this technology driven age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Curtis on November 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you know very little about nanotechnology and worry about it's ethics, then this book is for you. It is written more like a thesis paper than a novel. A very technical read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wolf on April 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
"What is Nanotechnology... from science to ethics" is weak on science. Nanotechnology is related to the transition to wave behavior of small particles like electrons, which occurs when the particle wavelength h/p becomes bigger than features of the nanostructure, for example the oxide barrier in the field effect transistor. The tunnel effect caused leakage and Moore's Law was extended by use of high kappa oxides. It was distracting to see the authors state that the particle wavelength of big objects like planets is "amazingly large". This is nonsense. The radius of the hydrogen atom, 0.0529 nm, is miss-stated and the peculiar argument is made that an iron atom, well understood by any chemist, is essentially an unsolvable problem. With this weak intuitive grasp of their material, the authors are not suitably critical of the mixed nature of the early literature, and in fact resurrect the unfortunate myth of the "molecular assembler" which was definitively refuted by Nobelist Richard Smalley. It appears that the refutation is beyond their conceptual depth. This book should certainly not be purchased as an introduction to the subject of nanotechnology. Edward L. Wolf
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