1st major nanotechnology TV series sounds rather negative

Here at Foresight we try to present a balanced view of nanotechnology, discussing prospective benefits while also acknowledging potential problems. It would be good if the “first major television series to look at the implications of advances in nanotechnology” did the same. But see the description of the upcoming public television series:

Nanotechnology: The Power of Small‘s three programs explore critical questions about nanotechnology’s potential impact on privacy, the environment and human health: Will nanotechnology make you safer, or will it be used to track your every move? Will nanotechnology keep you young, and what happens if you live to be 150? Will nanotechnology help clean up the earth, or will it be the next asbestos?…

In the programs, award-winning National Public Radio correspondent John Hockenberry asks policymakers, scientists, journalists and community leaders to wrestle with difficult but essential issues about nanotechnology’s potential to impact people’s privacy and security, health and environment.

Sounds pretty negative to me. Perhaps the program will be much more balanced than the ad copy. Or perhaps the producers felt that they needed a show to balance the pro-nanotech hype. However, if this is really “the first major television series to look at the implications of advances in nanotechnology”, then they have a responsibility to present a balanced view, not slant it toward potential downsides. The show was funded in part by NSF.

You can attend a reception and Washington DC premiere of the show on April 2 at the Wilson Center. RSVP quickly to [email protected]. If you see the show, please let us know your impressions. We’ll hope for a balanced presentation. —Christine.

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