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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