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Nanoscale Research, Ethics, and the Military

Nanoscale Research, Ethics, and the Military
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Author(s): Timothy F. Murphy (University of Illinois College of Medicine, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 8
Source title: Handbook of Research on Technoethics
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Rebecca Adell (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-022-6.ch011

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Abstract

Military researchers are working to exploit advances in nanoscale research for military uniforms, medical diagnosis and treatment, enhanced soldier performance, information and surveillance systems, and weaponry and guidance systems. These domains of research pose ethical questions in regard to the motives for this research, the way in which it is carried out, and its social effects, especially in regard to its medical aspects. Much of this research can be defended in the name of soldier protection and national defense, but close attention to the practice of research involving human subjects and nanoscale devices is nevertheless warranted because the military is governed in ways that sometimes put its overarching goals ahead of protecting the rights and welfare of individual soldiers. Moreover, the contribution of nanoscale interventions to a new kind of arms race should not be underestimated.

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