Nanotechnology as a social concept and investment focal point has drawn much attention. Here we consider the place of nanotechnology in the second great technological revolution of mankind that began some 200 years ago. The so-called nanotechnology revolution represents both a continuation of prior science and technology trends and a re-awakening to the benefits of significant investment in fundamental research. We consider the role the military might play in the development of nanotechnology innovations, nanotechnology’s context in the history of technology, and the global competition to lead the next technological revolution.
Archive for December, 2006
Manufacturing materials and systems with components thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair promises vast and sometimes unimaginable advances in technology. Yet the term nanotechnology has formed as much from people’s expectations as from scientific reality. Understanding the creation and context of this social construction can help us appreciate and guide what may be a burgeoning revolution. This chapter considers what different groups are referring to when they say nanotechnology, how this relates to the science involved, and how the various definitions of this broad field of endeavor might be improved. The ramifications and implications of these seemingly innocuous naming choices are also discussed. Although in many respects nanotechnology serves as cover justification for increased spending in the physical sciences, at present it is the most hopeful route to solving some of the planet’s greatest problems.
preprint; Chapter in Advances in Computers 71:Nanotechnology, edited Marvin Zelkowitz, Elsevier, 2007 Identifying Nanotechnology in Society Charles Tahan Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, JJ Thomson Ave, Cambridge, CB3 0HE, UK firstname.lastname@example.org (2006) Manufacturing materials and systems with components thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair promises vast and sometimes unimaginable advances in […]