1st Edition

Nanotechnology Ethical and Social Implications

Edited By Ahmed S. Khan Copyright 2012
    365 Pages 101 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Advances in nanotechnology are transforming the ways of creating materials and products, leading society to the threshold of a second industrial revolution. However, future opportunities will depend significantly on how nanotechnology stakeholders deal with the short-term and long-term benefits, limitations, uncertainties and risks of nanotechnology. They will be tasked with navigating a variety of new social and ethical challenges associated with areas such as privacy, the environment, energy, population, genetics, agriculture, food, and security.

    Unique in its depth, breadth, and variety of viewpoints, Nanotechnology: Ethical and Social Implications stimulates, inspires, and builds awareness of nanotechnology’s impact on society. Spanning the immense range of disciplines at work in nanotechnology, the book’s selection of chapters focuses on how advances in science, and the convergence of multiple technologies, will impact society at individual, community, national, and international levels.

    The book focuses on raising the awareness of nanotechnology stakeholders, which includes undergraduate and graduate students; educators in sciences, engineering, business, and public policy; engineers; business and finance professionals; and policymakers. It also addresses the demands on the future workforce to learn new skill sets.

    The book uses an interactive format—which includes case studies, scenarios, and Web exercises—to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills. Content includes numerous tables, statistics, and figures to supplement and enhance the topics covered in each chapter. The result is a must-read for anyone seeking either a technical or nontechnical understanding of the societal impact of nanotechnology.

    Nanotechnology: An Introduction to Applications and Ethical and Social Issues, A.S. Khan

    What’s Different, Ethically, About Nanotechnology? Foundational Questions and Answers, R.E. McGinn

    The Beginning of Ethics: Confucius and Socrates, J. Yu

    Ethics: A Conservative Christian Perspective, G. Anderson

    Nanotechnology: Ethical and Social Issues, F.M. Salinas, D.M. Smith, and S. Viswanathan

    The Unanticipated Consequences of Technology, T. Healy

    Portraits in Carbon, T.Neff

    Nanotechnology: Environment and Ecology, D. Newberry

    Our Biopolitical Future: Four Scenarios, R. Hayes

    Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture, A.S. Khan

    The Future of Food: An Introduction to the Ethical Issues in Genetically Modified Foods, M.R. McLean

    Titanium Dioxide (TiO2): A Versatile Semiconducting Material for Environmental and Antibacterial Applications, M.A. Shah

    What Are the Social Implications of Our Delay in Teaching Nanoscience Education to K–12 Students in the United States? J. Light Feather

    Nanotechnology Research and Science, Technology, and Society Education at Bilkent University, H.M. Ozaktas

    Application of Simulation for Emulating Nanotechnology and Emerging Technologies in Education, A.S. Khan

    Predicting the Future: Review of Public-Perception Studies of Nanotechnology, M. Siegrist

    Nanotechnology: The Size of the Cosmos Versus the Size of Human Knowledge, A.S. Khan


    Dr. Ahmed S. Khan is a professor of Electronics and Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He has 30 years of experience in research, instruction, curricula design, development, evaluation, implementation and program accreditation, management, and supervision. Dr. Khan is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). He is also member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and has been listed in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers.

    "Perhaps the most useful chapter from an instructor’s perspective is the one by Deb Newberry. ... Ms. Newberry has assembled a concise, clear, and well-footnoted introduction to the field of nanotechnology products and the ecology of their effects. ... Dr. Khan’s own introductory chapter also belongs in the category of standout. He gives good definitions of the field, provides many well-illustrated examples, and includes about thirty pages of scenarios and case studies involving nanotechnology and social or ethical issues. Case studies are one of the book’s strengths overall, because several authors include them and their topics vary widely. Rather unusual for a book of this type...is a 16-page section of color plates illustrating everything from the deep iridescent blue of a butterfly’s wings (color courtesy of nano-scale reflecting structures) to a scene in the nanotech lab of Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. ... It would be worthwhile to put this book on the reserve-book list of a course on either the technical or the social and ethical aspects of nanotechnology. Individual chapters could be excerpted for various special purposes in teaching, or conceivably as references for research in a graduate course."
    —Karl D. Stephan, Texas State University, San Marcos, USA; from IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Spring 2014

    "This excellent edited volume in 16 chapters explores nanotechnology in great depth focusing on a numberof key objectives, namely: familiarizing the reader with precisely what nanotechnology is; presenting a broad overview of the actual and potential applications of nanotechnology; examining a number of specific high-profile applications; addressing the social andethical issues associated with the use of nanotechnology. This is a timely agenda and is executed with great dexterity by the editor. ... The book is well produced and will be of interest to students pursuing multidisciplinary programmes with modules in ethics and should be essential reading to those studying a module incorporating emerging technologies. It will also be of much assistance to researchers in both areas. ... The editor has done an excellent job in assembling a complementary set of chapters which focuses the ethical issues associated with this emerging technology, while at the same time presenting the reader with a clear picture of what the technology has to offer and the potential risks associated with it."
    —Stuart Fitz-Gerald, Kingston Business School, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK; from the International Journal of Information Management, October 2013

    "Nanotechnology: Ethical and Social Implications is an interdisciplinary text with teaching resources for multilevel student audiences. Indeed, one of the better articles is an argument of why we should teach nanoscience, starting in the public school curriculum. ... the material is clearly written and understandable without sacrificing the scientific voice. There are good visuals, including photos of the machinery used to study nanotechnology and photos of nanoparticles, nanostructures, and natural and manmade nanoproducts ... . The format is an interactive textbook, providing exercises at the end of each chapter, such as guided structural summaries, questions eliciting the student’s opinions, and case studies for research essays using the Internet and library resources. This book is a good choice to use in a course in undergraduate or early graduate school. ... [Khan] is an educator as well as an engineer, and he can present the material in a way that is most accessible to a wide pool of readers. ... This book challenges students and teachers to imagine potential outcomes and futures based on different realities—to think in science fiction so that we have some sort of risk management for the future. After all, if we had had books like ‘Fossil Fuels: Ethical and Social implications,’ we may have benefited."
    —Carol Siri Johnson, Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, November 2012, Vol. 3