A new industrial revolution is underway in which near-atomic scale engineering is no longer the preserve of advanced research laboratories but is being deployed in real products. Nanotechnology has the potential to offer technical solutions to a wide range of global challenges, including climate change, water scarcity, growing healthcare needs and access of the developing world to IT.
Nanotechnology also provides a useful scientific tool kit to explore parts of science closely associated with questions of origins of life. Is nanotechnology therefore a force for good, bringing relief to people in need and shedding further light on what it means to be human? Should faith communities embrace it positively? Or is it a threat, offering rival explanations for the origins of life to those presented in religious texts and risking enormous environmental damage should it ever escape from our control?
In this lecture, Professor Cowburn, who is both a nanotechnologist and a Christian, will give an overview of the science and applications of nanotechnology and discuss the ethics and theology of this new technology.