1st Edition

Nanotechnology and Global Equality

By Donald Maclurcan Copyright 2012
    300 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Jenny Stanford Publishing

    The book places nanotechnology’s emergence within a broad historical and contemporary global context while developing and testing an interpretive framework through which to assess nanotechnology’s claims. It clarifies the nature of global engagement with nanotechnology research and development, revealing surprising scenarios, unacknowledged by most mainstream commentators. The book concludes by exploring a range of perspectives from Thailand and Australia about nanotechnology’s foreseen implications for global inequity.

    Central Questions
    Overview of My Approach
    General Limitations
    Chapter Outlines


    Development, Technology and Inequity
    The Creation of Inequity and Establishment of Development Debates
    Foundational Approaches
    Contemporary Approaches
    Conclusion and My Framework for Technological Assessment

    Nanotechnology, Development and Inequity
    Understanding Nanotechnology
    The State of Play
    Interpreting the State of Play: Instrumentalist versus Contextualist Perspectives
    Innovative Capacity
    Technological Appropriateness
    Approaches to Governance

    The State of Play
    Global Engagement
    An Exclusive ‘Global’ Nanotechnology Dialogue
    Early Patent Control and Orientation

    Understanding Nanotechnology
    Near-Term Nanotechnology or Molecular Manufacturing?

    Innovative Capacity
    Understanding the Nanodivide and Its Constructs
    The South Left Behind
    New Opportunities

    Technological Appropriateness
    Benefits for the South
    Contextual Challenges: Old Rhetoric, Old Reality
    Societal Implications

    Approaches to Technological Governance
    How to Become ‘Nano-Innovators
    Ensuring Appropriateness
    Responding to Risks

    Key Themes and Findings
    Limitations and Further Avenues for Research
    Implications and Recommendations

    Justification of Interviewee Nationalities for My Qualitative Study
    Health-Related Patent Classifications
    Patent Rules
    Top 10 Nanotechnologies for the Developing World (Singer et al., 2005)
    World Bank List of Economies (April 2004)
    Classification of Countries: Development Assistance Committee List of Aid Recipients, 2003 (adapted from OECD, 2003) 377
    Thai Key Informant Details
    Australian Key Informant Details
    Key Informant Biographies (2004)
    Responses from Thai Nanotechnology Practitioners


    Donald Maclurcan

    "Donald Maclurcan has drawn on the skills and knowledge of a range of disciplines to consider the complex question of the impacts of nanotechnology. He has assembled an impressive body of evidence to show that nanotechnology as presently developed offers little hope for a more equitable world. This is a very significant conclusion, as we are often urged to believe that new technology can help the development aspirations of poor countries. The subject is important, the writing is clear and the case is compelling."
    —Prof. Ian Lowe - President, Australian Conservation Foundation

    "Donald Maclurcan’s book provides a timely discussion about the implications of the emergence of nanotechnology for the global South, in a context in which technological innovation and global social inequality have been increasing hand in hand. Maclurcan addresses the topic in a well-balanced and evidence-supported way, exploring theories, discourses, quantitative data, and scientists’ and other stakeholders’ perspectives to assess if and how nanotechnology can contribute to a more equitable world. Written in direct and simple language, this book is relevant not only for academia but also for civil society groups and the broader public."
    —Prof. Noela Invernizzi - Federal University of Paraná, Brazil

    "Nanotechnology and its impact remain a black box. Although our understanding of the social, economic, environmental, public health and ethical outcomes associated with the expanding nano-industries is growing, gaps in our understanding remain. In this book, Dr Maclurcan makes a significant contribution towards filling the void in the contemporary understanding of the social justice dimensions related to research, development and commercialisation of nanotechnology, especially for the global South. Through the presentation of rich and detailed empirical data, and grounded in theories of development and technological change, Maclurcan provides valuable insights into the relationships between new technologies and hopes for a more equitable world."
    —Prof. Kristen Lyons - Griffith University, Australia