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‘All things weird and scary’ : nanotechnology, theology, and cultural resources.

By Sarah R. Davies, Matthew Kearnes and Phil M. Macnaghten

Abstract

Nanotechnology is widely suggested to be fast becoming a defining technology of the twenty-first century. This 'science of the very small' has applications in areas from medicine to materials, and is predicted to have profound effects on social life. In this paper, we draw on a study of lay people's reflections on the ethics of nanotechnologies to focus on the talk of one group of participants, from a UK church. While we identify key themes which are common across all participants, including nanotechnology as a threat to the human, the importance of individual autonomy, and distrust of the large-scale drivers behind the technology, we argue that the church-going group have a specific set of cultural resources with which to articulate responses to these. Using a language of spirituality and relationality these participants are able to express shared notions of what nanotechnology threatens (and promises), and can therefore be seen as exemplary of lay negotiations of these issues

Topics: Nanotechnology, Religion, Science, Lay talk.
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1080/14755610903077570
OAI identifier: oai:dro.dur.ac.uk.OAI2:6398
Journal:

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