A recent News item in NATURE correctly deplored recent violent attacks on nanotechnologists in Mexico and elsewhere. While there is no justification for violence, one of the readers (HT) sagely commented that public backlash against nanotechnology might derive in part from the tendency of scientists in the nano field to overstate the breakthrough nature of their work thus inspiring public fears and concerns. Sadly we have observed the same tendency in our dealings with some in the nanotechnology community and have written about the limitations of nanotech, particularly in the context of nanomedicine.
The correction for any impending public backlash against nanotech is to present a sober, realistic picture of the field to the public, to the press, and to funding agencies. No more Nano-hype!