Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World

Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World

Global Artificial Photosynthesis as Nanotechnology’s Moral Culmination

Thomas Faunce

Does humanity have a moral obligation to emphasise nanotechnology’s role in addressing the critical public health and environmental problems of our age? This well crafted book explores this idea by analysing the prospects for a macroscience nanotechnology-for-environmental sustainability project in areas such as food, water and energy supply, medicine, healthcare, peace and security. Developing and applying an innovative science-based view of natural law underpinning a global social contract, it considers some of the key scientific and governance challenges such a global project may face.

Preface

Thomas Faunce

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, health law

Extract

Don’t ever forget these things: The nature of the world. My nature. How I relate to the world. What proportion of it I make up. That you are part of nature, and no one can prevent you from speaking and acting in harmony with it, always. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Because of the speed with which events and scientific breakthroughs are communicated and turned into marketable products in the contemporary world, many books dealing with emerging technology are virtually out of date at the time of publication. This book seeks to avoid that disadvantage by setting its arguments against what will hopefully remain timeless backgrounds: the natural beauty of our Earth and the human struggle to not only discern the laws of the physical universe, but also to cohere with them by actions that promote great social virtues such as justice and equity. It makes a case, in that context, for how the most promising new technology of our age (nanotechnology), when properly governed, is likely to help resolve the looming social and environmental crises that threaten our existence. These pages also chart a personal intellectual and moral journey in which the natural environment has been an important co-conspirator. They plot thoughts and dreams about environmental law and justice that began emerging while I was working with Justice Lionel Murphy as a young lawyer by Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. They take in others about environmental sustainability that arose by Henry Thoreau’s pond near the small town of Concord in Massachusetts...