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.
Table of Contents
Overview of My Approach
Development, Technology and Inequity
The Creation of Inequity and Establishment of Development Debates
Conclusion and My Framework for Technological Assessment
Nanotechnology, Development and Inequity
The State of Play
Interpreting the State of Play: Instrumentalist versus Contextualist Perspectives
Approaches to Governance
The State of Play
An Exclusive ‘Global’ Nanotechnology Dialogue
Early Patent Control and Orientation
Near-Term Nanotechnology or Molecular Manufacturing?
Understanding the Nanodivide and Its Constructs
The South Left Behind
Benefits for the South
Contextual Challenges: Old Rhetoric, Old Reality
Approaches to Technological Governance
How to Become ‘Nano-Innovators
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
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 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