This seminar discusses the perception of nanotechnology as a tool for bringing development. Developing countries themselves have been highly pro-active in the field.
The literature generally assumes that nanotechnology can directly address the needs of the poor. Nanotechnology may enable, for instance, the creation of cheap water filters, packaging materials that help farmers to reach the market, or solar cells that can be printed on sheets of paper — applications with obvious benefits for people deprived of a steady supply of clean water, market access, or electricity. In this seminar, Koen will argue that we should not take for granted this way of looking at the relation between nanotechnology and development. By tracing the genealogy of this dominant way of thinking, and by juxtaposing this to the governance of nanotechnology in India, Kenya and South Africa, Koen will highlight various other ways in which nanotechnology can impact developing countries.