Nanotechnology - "the Salvation of the Mankind" with Security Risks?

  • Miroslav Tůma
Keywords: International security, defence policy/security policy, weapons of mass destruction, key technology, nanotechnology, military research and development, security risks


The aim of the article is to provide readers with general information on nanotechnology and possibilities of its use, as well as to refer to some of its relevant security risks. The author currently mentions claims of some scientists and NGOs warning against possible misuse of nanotechnology due to the insufficient control over the research and the application. So far, less anticipated consequences of nanotechnology, converging with genetics, robotics, informatics and cognitive science, on all branches of the economy and social and other relations require that sufficient information.should be given not only to the Czech experts but to general society as well. The real threat of the misuse of nanotechnology towards the research, development and the production of the new types of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and other security risks increase that need. In spite of the long-term knowledge of nanotechnology, the possibilities of its use in a revolutionary way increased from 80th of the last century. It was due to the new types of microscopes enabling for the first time precise manipulation of the nano-scale particles. Results of nanoscale exploration are more and more visible e.g. in various consumer products and according to the views of some scientific circles we could witness dramatic transformation of the economy in the near future. The article points out the rapid increase of spending on basic nanoscience research, growing number of governmental, private and multinational corporations and various national nano-initiatives dealing with this kind of research and development, accepted mainly in the high-industrialized countries. In the article there are mentioned some reservations and concerns of the prominent American scientists and NGOs in association with the important goal of the nanotechnology research focused on the process of self-reproduction, self-repair and self-assembly. Various arms control and disarmament experts pay attention to the connections of the nanotechnological research with the possibility of production of the new types of nuclear weapons of the 4th generation. In conclusion the author expresses his view on the usefulness to create efficient system of the governmental and public control of this sphere of the scientic research and the need to devote sufficient attention by the appropriate officials and experts to the security aspects of nanotechnology.

Author Biography

Miroslav Tůma