Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Just got back from Lake Maggione 60 km north of Milan where I had the opportunity to speak on nanobiotechnology from a societal perspective. In summary, my discussion kicked off the list of speakers. I addressed non-nanomedicine applications of nanobiotechnology as instructed by the hosts. My presentation examined nanobio applications in terms of environmental remediation, agricultural production, and human enhancement. In general, I argued that the issues associated with nanobiotechnology would lead to religious warrants in arguments on playing god, unnaturalness, and dehumanization. Dietram Scheufele and I are planning to write an extensive piece for Nature Nano or another source discussing the role of religion and belief in arguments associated with emerging and converging technologies, esp. nanoscience and synthetic biology driven. I will post summaries of the presentations in the following blog. I am still decoding my notes. NONETHELESS, I think the readership will enjoy knowing that societal concerns dominating all the follow-up discussion after day 1, in the hallways, and continued through day 2.