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No one really knows where nanotechnology is leading, what its pursuit will mean, and how it may affect human and other forms of life. Nevertheless, its research and development are moving briskly into that unknown. Nanotalk is a book of conversations and explorations with thirty five such nano-research scientists and engineers who share their ideas, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs about their work, humanity, nature, change, and the future of the world with nanotechnology. Precisely because of the unknowable nature of nanotechnology research and development, conscientious foresight and ethical reflection are warranted every step of the way. Not only do nanotechnology research and development represent enormous financial commitments, but they also require a profound leap of faith regarding its possible outcomes. Using these conversations as the basis of reflection and deliberation, the author explores the possible significance of nanotechnology to humanity and how it might be pursued conscientiously and ethically.
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Rosalyn W. Berne, Ph.D. explores the intersecting realms between emerging technologies, science, fiction and myth, and between the human and non-human worlds. As a university professor she writes and teaches about engineering and technology in society and the ethical implications of technological development, often using science fiction material in her classes. In her personal life she continues to discover the transformationalnature of human-equine relationships, and offers facilitation and translation services for enhancing communication between horses and their owners. She is author of Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists And Engineers About Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology (Erlbaum Press, 2005) and the novel, Waiting in the Silence (Spore Press, 2012). Currently underway, Creating a New World: Biotechnology and Science Fiction brings the non-fictional writing of research scientists together with Berne's science fiction short stories (forthcomingfrom Pan Stanford Press).
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