The rise of collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer systems, and not-for-profit social enterprise heralds the emergence of a new era of human collectivity. Increasingly, this consolidation stems from an understanding that big-banner issues—such as climate change—are not the root causes of our present global predicament. There is a growing and collective view that issues such as this are actually symptoms of a much more vicious, seemingly insurmountable condition: our addiction to economic, consumption, and population growth in a world of finite resources.
Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability uses nanotechnology—the product of applied scientific knowledge to control and utilize matter at atomic and molecular scales—as a lens through which to explore the interrelationship between innovation, politics, economy, and sustainability. This groundbreaking book addresses how stakeholders can actively reshape agendas to create positive and sustainable futures through this latest controversial, cross-sectoral technology. It moves beyond issues of efficiency, productivity, and utility, exploring the insights of 22 contributors from around the world, whose work spans the disciplines of science and the humanities. Their combined knowledge, reinforced with various case studies, introduces an exciting prospect—how we can innovate without economic growth.
This new volume in the Perspectives in Nanotechnology series is edited by Dr. Donald Maclurcan and Dr. Natalia Radywyl. Dr. Maclurcan is a social innovator and Honorary Research Fellow with the Institute for Nanoscale Technology at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Dr. Radywyl is a social researcher and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. This book is written for a wide audience and will be of particular interest to activists, scholars, policy makers, scientists, business professionals, and others who seek an understanding of how we might justly transition to sustainable societies.
Section I: Limits
Nanotechnology and Limits to Growth, D. Maclurcan and N. Radywyl
Nanotechnology and the Environment, D.J. Hess and A. Lamprou
Nanotechnology and Traditional Knowledge Systems, R. Eglash
Section II: Capacity
Nanotechnology and Geopolitics: There’s Plenty of Room at the Top, S. Howard and K.J. Wetter
Nanotechnology, Agriculture, and Food, K. Lyons, G. Scrinis, and J. Whelan
Poor Man’s Nanotechnology—From the Bottom Up (Thailand), S. Baruah, J. Dutta, and G.L. Hornyak
Section III: Appropriateness
Nanotechnology and Global Health, D.Bennett-Woods
Toward Pro-Poor Nano-Innovation (Zimbabwe, Peru, Nepal), D.J. Grimshaw
Open Source Appropriate Nanotechnology, U. Mushtaq and J.M. Pearce
Section IV: Governance
Nanotechnology and Risk. F. Wickson
Nanotechnology and State Regulation (India), N. Srivastava and N. Chowdhury
Nanotechnology and Global Regulation, D.M. Bowman and G.A. Hodge
Nanotechnology without Growth, D. Maclurcan and N. Radywyl
"This is a field dominated by journal articles and popular periodicals. This book is a major step toward correcting that problem. [It exhibits] interdisciplinarity, focus on sustainability, and balanced perspectives. … This volume uses the interdisciplinary lens of sustainability to assess the promises and pitfalls presented by the emergence of nanotechnology…Despite the enormous potential of nanotechnology for good and for harm, there has been woefully little critical analytical attention paid to its social and environmental implications. This volume is an important corrective to that inattention.
This book starts a dialogue that is absolutely vital if we are to have hope for democratic participation in determining the role, purpose, and direction of technological innovation."
— Kenneth A. Gould, City University of New York—Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, USA