Nanoparticles and Mega-fears : Debating the Risks of Nanotechnology

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  • Alongside the glittery promise of nanotechnology sits a Pandora's box of potential concerns that range from worrisome applications like nano-enhanced surveillance devices and weapon systems to unintended consequences such as nanopollution and nanotoxicity. This program takes a balanced look at the debate over potential nanotech risks as it presents viewers with the informed opinions of advocates and opponents alike. A voyage of discovery that spans the globe, Nanoparticles and Mega-fears discusses the "gray goo effect" and transhumanism, nanos on the battlefield, nanoscale RFID tagging, the leaching of nanoparticles into the ecosystem, nanoscale effects on the human body, and more. The question of a nanotech gap between developed and developing countries is addressed as well. An excellent discussion-starter! Produced by La Compagnie des Taxi-brousse in partnership with UER/EBU, EEC DG Research, CNC, Region L-R, PROCIREP-ANGOA, France5, UR, RTBF, and TFO. A part of the series Welcome to the Nanoworld!


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 27, 2010.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Closed-captioned.


  • Nano-Fears (2:37) -- Nanotechnology: Catastrophe Scenario (2:09) -- Fear of the Nanoworld and Transhumanism (2:48) -- Superman: Fantasy vs. Reality (3:07) -- Personal Data Collectors (2:49) -- Nanoscience vs. Nano-Applications (2:14) -- Danger Linked to Nanoparticles (2:37) -- Nanoparticles: Unknown Risks (2:52) -- Nanoparticles and Toxicology (4:26) -- Carbon Nanotubes (3:22) -- Nanotechnology and Toxicity (3:47) -- Nanos, Toxicology, and Testing (2:45) -- Nanotechnology and Risk Research (2:15) -- Nanotechnology and Global Inequality (3:32) -- Nanotechnology: First World vs. Third World (1:54) -- Pros and Cons of Nanotechnology (1:36) -- Future of Nanotechnology (4:06)
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