Germany's biotech and nuclear power industries have already been stunted by technological fears unique to Germany, Newsweek reports, and its nanotechnology sector may be next. The magazine traces these fears to the country's 1980s green movement, where it:
"defined nature-or what is mythified as such, for there is no wild nature left in densely settled Germany-as 'good,' and viewed technological intrusions with suspicion. These modern Greens harked back to powerful back-to-nature movements that defined science and scientists as 'cold,' corrupted by capitalist masters, and blind to catastrophic risk. You, idealistic Germans in search of their post-World War II identity embraced these themes as a way to prove to themselves that they were 'good' again. That movement's victory in the German culture wars produced powerful taboos, which seem especially strong concerning any tampering with nature on an invisible level-whether it's the climate, the atom, the cell, or (potentially) machines that operate on a nano level."
The article offers a fascinating perspective.