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Nanotechnology - Socio-economic factors

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Socio-Economic effects of Nanotechnology range widely from extremes of science fiction to reality. Nanotechnology has potential to dramatically increase the life expectancy of human beings through diagnostic or treatment nano-machines, improved drugs, or DNA repair. Although this is a positive outcome, it may give rise to some interesting science fiction scenarios, like capacity-exhausted cities or controlling new births.

Nanotechnology, due to its microscopic size, easy dispersal, self-replication, and potential to inflict massive harm on persons, machines, or the environment, makes a tempting terrorist weapon. After September 11, 2001, there is a heightened concern about the conversion of useful machines into potential weapons.

Economic effects may be positive when there are new spin-off technologies and can be negative with economic dislocations, job shifts or population explosion.
In my earlier post, I had mentioned about political factors. In the case of Nanotechnology, political factors are not that pronounced, but they will be, once some serious developments are achieved.

In our context, socio-economic factors may not be of immediate concern, a first positive factor for our nanotechnology evaluation. Tomorrow I will summarize Nanotechnolgy factors.
10/20/2004 09:57:00 PM :: ::
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