Nano-Hype

Front Cover
Prometheus Books, Dec 4, 2009 - Political Science - 521 pages
Nanotechnology, the science of molecular engineering at the atomic scale, has captured the popular imagination. From movies to TV series to video games, utopian fantasies and horror scenarios involving nanotechnology have become a staple of the entertainment industry. The hyperbole surrounding this new technology comes not only from the media but also from scientists who exaggerate the anticipated benefits of nanotechnology to justify research funding, as well as from environmentalists and globalization opponents, who sometimes indulge in doom-and-gloom prophecies to advance their own agendas. The result is widespread misinformation and an uninformed public. In an effort to set the record straight, professor of communication studies David M. Berube has written this thoroughly researched, accessible overview of nanotechnology in contemporary culture. He evaluates the claims and counterclaims about nanotechnology by a broad range of interested parties including government officials and bureaucrats, industry leaders and entrepreneurs, scientists, journalists, and other persons in the media. Berube appraises programs and grand initiatives here and abroad, and he examines the environmental concerns raised by opponents, as well as the government and private responses to these concerns. With so much argumentation on both sides, it is difficult for anyone to determine what is true. Nano-Hype provides up-to-date, objective information to inform the public. Based on over a decade of research and interviews with many of the movers and shakers in nanotechnology, this critical study will help the reader separate the realistic prospects from the hype surrounding this important cutting-edge technology.
 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
11
INTRODUCTION
19
EXAGGERATION
29
SPECULATION
49
Critics
63
Conclusion
80
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES
123
54
132
APPLICATIONS OF NANOSCIENCE
185
104
195
NANOINDUSTRY
213
NONGOVERNMENTAL
245
NANOHAZARDS
275
A Primer on Nanotoxicology Research
281
Risk Analysis
300
A PUBLIC SPHERE
335

International Actors
135
78
138
100
152
Conclusion
153
101
173
NOTES
361
BIBLIOGRAPHY
469
INDEX
507
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

David M. Berube is professor of communication studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and the associate director of Nanoscience and Technology Studies at the USC NanoCenter.

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