Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Nanotechs History: An Interesting, Interdisciplinary, Ideological Split

Shew, Ashley

Journal Information:
Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society
Vol. 28, Num. 5


Shews history of nanotechnology is certainly not comprehensive, but she looks here to uncover the inherent schisms in the field that she finds most histories lack, adding a valuable new perspective to the conversation. She begins with the dispute over definition, whether Eric Drexels molecular nanotechnology is really and substantially different from the nanolithography and micromachines that are often lumped into the subject. She then goes on to describe the standard story of nanotechnologys history, from Feynman to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, thought she points out inconsistencies in the reception of Feynmans work and the first machines capable of operation on the nano scale. She says these and other deviations from factual history are due to the mythological component of nanotechnology, whereby the mystical end of profit is pursued and the vision of Drexler and Feynman, that privileges systems over products, falls by the wayside. This can all be ascribed to the need for funding, where pure nanoscience is ignored for the profit and product-driven nanotechnology that so many governments patronize.