Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Narratives of Nature and Nanotechnology

Wickson, Fern

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 3, Num. 6


Wickson sees scientists talking of the relationship between nature and nanotechnology as if through parables, where the beliefs and research directions held by each author are clouded by the medium. As such, she sets out to describe the nine narrative structures most often used in order to allow the reader to look past the form to better understand the foundation of these writings. She identifies them as nanotechnology as nature, nanotechnology inspired by nature, nanotechnology improving on nature, nanotechnology using nature, nanotechnology transgressing nature, nanotechnology restricted by nature, nanotechnology controlling nature, nanotechnology threatening nature, and nanotechnology treating nature. These narrative devices serve to justify, explain, direct or condemn the field, though often these themes are interwoven in single articles to better support or question nanotechnologys future.