Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World
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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.
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Chapter 2: Nanoscience for a Sustainable World: A Goal or Set of Principles?

Thomas Faunce


[T]he most dramatic feature of the universe to have survived inflation: the three-plus-one dimensionality of space time … exhibits a high degree of symmetry … it is necessary to calculate the wave function of the universe just as we ordinarily calculate the wave function of an electron. – Heinz Pagels, Perfect Symmetry And when we describe things as ‘taking place’, We’re talking like builders, who say that blocks in a wall or a pyramid ‘take their place’ in the structure, and fit together in a harmonious pattern … Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you – Nature in general through the things that happen to you; And your own nature, through your own actions. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 2.1 ETHICS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (NES) In 1981 I visited the USA for the first time as a participant in a law students’ international law mooting competition called the Jessup Cup. The competition was designed to encourage young legal scholars to learn more about how international law can assist to resolve complex geopolitical issues – in this case a sea bed demarcation dispute between two fictional coastal nations. It involved deliberation of provisions in a United Nations convention specifying that the deep sea bed was the common heritage of humanity. ‘Equity’ was one principle to be used in the demarcation. After the competition concluded there was one town I particularly wanted to visit. This was Concord, Massachusetts, where once lived Henry David Thoreau, the author of Walden and Civil Disobedience. I recall walking out one afternoon...

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