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Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Steering nanotechnology to beneficial uses

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 25th, 2008

Sonia Arrison over at TechNewsWorld takes on the issues of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and steering innovation toward responsible uses: “When we look at cells as machines, it makes them very straightforward in the future to design them for very unique utilities,” Venter told participants at DLD. Of course, Venter has often referred to the possibility [...]

Nanotechnology-based surveillance predicted

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 18th, 2008

For many years, Foresight has been pointing out that nanotechnology will be used for surveillance. Now Kevin Mitnick makes a long-term prediction on nanosurveillance. An excerpt: Warrantless Surveillance: The Worst is Yet to Come …Far from censuring the president, most of Congress seems completely unconcerned by the issue of warrantless surveillance. And telecom companies are [...]

Which presidential candidate for nanotechnology?

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 8th, 2008

Nanodot readers in the U.S. may be asking, who should I vote for to promote nanotechnology? Good question! Your suggestions are welcome in the comments section. Meanwhile, see this post by Prof. Robin Hanson (inventor of prediction markets, formerly called idea futures) about a tool that could be used to find out more clearly what [...]

Debate on radical life extension

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 4th, 2008

One of the Foresight Challenges is “Improving Health and Longevity”, which we take to be a positive goal for nanotechnology and biotech. Not everyone sees it that way, as we find in a recent online debate over at Cato’s online forum called Cato Unbound: Each month, Cato Unbound will present an essay on a big-picture [...]

BlogTalkRadio: Pearl Chin on nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 18th, 2007

Foresight president Dr. Pearl Chin was interviewed on nanotechnology by Stephen Gordon and PJ Manney on Dec. 16, and the show can now be downloaded for your listening edification. A brief summary appears on Phil Bowermaster’s blog The Speculist: Dr. Chin is excited about [the] medical advance that nanoparticles are making possible – particularly with [...]

Nanotechnology medicine: will it be affordable?

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 17th, 2007

Those of you who subscribe to Foresight’s free Weekly News Digest (sign up using the Join Email List box at upper right of our home page) have seen that practically every week there’s new positive results to report on nanotechnology for drug delivery, especially for cancer. A summary of where to read about these advances [...]

Nanotechnology for surveillance vs. privacy

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 13th, 2007

Nanowerk brings our attention to a story at Forbes.com looking at anticipated developments in sensing and monitoring: At their annual meeting this fall in Montreal, there was little of the traditional talk among the international privacy people about the nuts and bolts of data protection. Instead, there were urgent and distressed discussions about “uberveillance,” “ambient [...]

Nanotechnology: Is decentralized control feasible?

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 4th, 2007

Jamais Cascio offers four nanotechnology policy scenarios over at CRN, looking at options resulting from two axes: centralized vs. decentralized, and precautionary vs. proactionary. His two decentralized scenarios describe some territory similar to that which Foresight is investigating as part of our Decentralized Physical Security project: The third scenario, combining Distributed rule-making and Proactionary technology [...]

Nanotechnology roadmap for atomically-precise manufacturing

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 28th, 2007

An article in Small Times by Paul Burrows of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory covers the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems (TRPN) aimed at Atomically-Precise Manufacturing (APM), a joint project of Foresight Nanotech Institute and Battelle, funded by the Waitt Family Foundation and by Sun Microsystems. Some excerpts: The Foresight-Battelle roadmap aimed to address this “vision [...]

And the winner for oddest nanotechnology ad goes to…

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 21st, 2007

As we move into a long holiday weekend here in the U.S., it’s time to indulge in a lighter moment in nanotech. Being suspicious of a sponsored link by Target on a “nanotechnology” search results page, I clicked on it to find this page of four highlighted products: Benny the Bear Memory Foam Plush Bear [...]

Russian nanotechnology "weapons": defensive or offensive?

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 14th, 2007

Although it is distressing to read the headline from ITAR-TASS “Russia to design nanotechnology weapons — commander“, when one reads the text, at first these “weapons” sound more like defensive protection than offensive weapons: Principally new weapons based on nanotechnology will be designed in Russia within 15 years for combating radiation, chemical and biological terrorism, [...]

Russia: Turning oil into nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 13th, 2007

Alexander Zaitchik writes at Wired.com a piece titled Russia Pours Billions in Oil Profits Into Nanotech Race. I’m quoted: “There’s a lot of technical talent in Russia, but not all of the funds allocated to nanotech will be deployed effectively,” said Christine Peterson, a vice president at the Foresight Nanotech Institute, in an e-mail interview. [...]

Nanotechnology "Unconference" now open to general public

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 19th, 2007

Registration for Foresight’s Nov. 3-4 Vision Weekend focused on nanotechnology and other advanced technologies — traditionally restricted to Foresight Senior Associates — is being opened to the general public this year as an experiment. Space is limited and participants are advised to register very soon. To warm up for our Sat/Sun afternoon unconference, in the [...]

Vision Weekend Unconference now open to Nanodot readers

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 12th, 2007

This year as an experiment we are opening up a subset of seats at the Nov. 3-4 Foresight Vision Weekend to members of special groups such as Nanodot readers. The event is usually open only to Foresight Senior Associate members: http://www.foresight.org/SrAssoc/2007 I encourage you to check out this event. Since it is an Unconference, you [...]

David Brin on nanotechnology ethics

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 2nd, 2007

Over at the CRN website they have a guest post by author David Brin on nanotechnology ethics: What I find relentlessly tedious (and, alas, ubiquitous) is the tendency to assume that the objective is actually to see ahead. It is not. The objective is to do what Einstein called gedankenexperimentation: pondering the range of possibilities [...]

Artist takes on nanotechnology and privacy

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 25th, 2007

Like me, perhaps you normally prefer more traditional art: oil paintings, perhaps. But new art can have an important societal purpose beyond its aesthetic value, and artist Nina Waisman has taken on a key nanotech issue to raise in her work: the relation between nanotechnology, sensing, and privacy. From SignOnSanDiego: If airport security were run [...]

Heritage Foundation: Conservative on nanotechnology too

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 21st, 2007

The Heritage Foundation portrays itself as a conservative think tank, and by gosh, they are! Specifically, they are conservative on the longer term prospects for nanotechnology: In the more distant future, combining nanocomputers, sensors, and nanomechanical architectures into one system would make possible autonomously targeted and guided projectiles, such as bullets and rockets. Nanotechnology could [...]

Nanotechnology: Enhancement goals for human body

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 18th, 2007

Forbes.com did a poll to find out what human body enhancements their readers would most like. The poll seems to be gone, but nanotechnology commentator Gregor Wolbring quotes it in his own column: Smarter brain (403 votes – 29 %) Wings (230 votes – 17 %) Breathe underwater (147 votes – 11 %) Stylish, furry [...]

Jurvetson podcast on nanotechnology, AI

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 29th, 2007

One person whose views on nanotechnology are always worth hearing is VC Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He’ll be speaking at the upcoming Singularity Summit, Sept. 8-9 in San Francisco, but if you can’t get there, you can listen to this ZDNet podcast with Dan Farber in which Steve discusses both nanotech and AI: [...]

Excess nanotechnology conservatism is too radical

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 15th, 2007

An opinion piece in IEEE Spectrum by Cientifica business development director Dexter Johnson is so conservative in its views that it crosses over into being truly radical. On designer materials: In fact, we are so far from that goal it’s not clear whether we will ever be able to overcome all the obstacles. Not ever? [...]