The paper examines the role hyperbole has played on the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology in the United States. It examines legislation and programs, from the NNUN through the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. The policy implications of this strategy are scrutinized in terms of a set of factors: authorizations and appropriations, policy and procedures within government agencies, relationships between government agents and the media, and the roles societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology (SEIN) research and grant may have on the process. Whether there is a substantive role for public participation is highlighted against rhetoric to the contrary by government agents. Comparisons between strategies that are less metaphorical and distorted are examined in promotional scenarios.
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