Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Are We Really the Prey? Nanotechnology as Science and Science Fiction

Bowman, Diana M.

Journal Information:
Bulletin of Science, Technology, & Society
Vol. 27, Num. 6


This article considers the ways in which the general public's perceptions of nanotechnology are shaped by fictional representations of nanotechnology, focusing specifically on Michael Crichton's best-selling 2002 novel, Prey. The authors note that Prey, which paints a decidedly negative picture of the impact which nanotechnology might have on society, has been influential in shaping how members of the general public perceive this field of research. They emphasize that governments, scientists, and researchers need to play a central role in separating science fact out from science fiction for members of the general public, if they wish to avoid a severe public backlash against nanotechnology. Governmental and scientific institutions, the authors maintain, ought to actively foster public dialogue about the potential implications of nanotechnology, to help to counter such misleading, negative, fictional speculations about nanotechnology as Prey.