Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Are natural resources a curse?

Jones, Richard

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 2, Num. 11


Many economies in the developing world, article author Richard Jones notes, are reliant on their natural mineral wealth. Because of these countries' reliance on these materials, scientists and researchers in the field of nanotechnology must consider very carefully how their work might impact these nations and their economic well-being. Might nanotechnology have the capacity to add value to these countries' exports, or would nanotechnology negatively impact these countries' standing in the global economy? Opinion within the nanoscientific community is divided on this subject, as some feel that as new materials are developed through nanotechnology, countries which export such traditional raw materials as copper, rubber, and cotton might be adversely impacted. Other nanoscientists, by contrast, argue that nanotechnology has the capacity not to supplant these countries' raw materials, but rather supplement them. Jones urges nanoscientists and researchers need to keep developing countries in mind, as they work on developing new technologies which might impact their economies.