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Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Dr. Doom has some good news: nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 21st, 2009

From The Atlantic: Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist who accurately forecast the bursting of the housing bubble and the resulting economic contraction, has become famous for his pessimism—he has been the gloomiest of the doomsayers… “The question is, can the U.S. grow in a non-bubble way?” [Roubini] asked the question rhetorically, so I [...]

Congressman from Silicon Valley promotes nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 9th, 2009

“It is time we do what’s necessary to make NANO the next national priority.”–U.S. Rep. Michael Honda, D-San Jose

Foresight — with Peripheral Vision: Nanotech & AI forecast from Josh Hall

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 9th, 2008

Josh Hall, author of Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology, sends this message to Nanodot readers: Dear Foresight members & friends, It’s the time of year when many of you are renewing your Foresight memberships, and helping us meet our $30,000 goal for our Challenge Grant by December 31: http://www.foresight.org/challenge I believe that the next decade [...]

Arthur Kantrowitz, 1913-2008, Foresight Advisor

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 3rd, 2008

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Prof. Arthur Kantrowitz, a founding Advisor of Foresight Institute and an early supporter of molecular nanotechnology concepts when they were first developed at MIT in the late 1970s by then-student K. Eric Drexler. Arthur was an amazingly innovative scientist and technologist, as described in [...]

Forever young with nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 25th, 2008

To round out our week in nanotech on an upbeat note, we have Caltech professor Michael Roukes‘ podcast over at Earth & Sky: Forever Young. In addition to the podcast, and there’s more at the Power of Small television show on medical applications of nanotechnology, which also appears to use the title Forever Young. From [...]

1st major nanotechnology TV series sounds rather negative

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 13th, 2008

Here at Foresight we try to present a balanced view of nanotechnology, discussing prospective benefits while also acknowledging potential problems. It would be good if the “first major television series to look at the implications of advances in nanotechnology” did the same. But see the description of the upcoming public television series: Nanotechnology: The Power [...]

Saudis to permit co-ed nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 7th, 2008

We’ve been critical in the past of Saudi Arabia’s policy of having women researchers in nanotechnology (and of course other fields as well) work separately from male researchers. Now King Abdullah has moved personally to fund, at the US$10 billion level, a new graduate-level university with a new policy toward women, to be advised by [...]

LA Times features nanotechnology debate

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 27th, 2008

All this week, NanoBusiness Vice President Aatish Salvi debates nanotechnology with the Center for Technology Assessment’s George Kimbrell over at the LA Times online. An excerpt from the former: Realizing the benefits of nanotechnology will take time. That should come as no surprise. Nanotech is trying to solve some of the hardest and most meaningful [...]

U.S. seen as more open to nanotechnology than Europe

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 12th, 2008

Reason magazine, which generally takes positions in favor of technology and free enterprise, has a cover story on nanotechnology (full text not posted yet, check link later) which speculates that the U.S. may be more open to nanotech than Europe: In the U.S., despite our flirtation with paranoia about biotech and our routine panics over [...]

Nanotechnology: a way of understanding ourselves

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 22nd, 2008

We’ve previously pointed out the usefulness of looking at future-oriented fiction as a way of stimulating thinking about nanotechnology. Now Annalee Newitz’s io9 site brings an interview of Kathleen Ann Goonan, who “was writing about nanotech before most people even know it existed.” An excerpt: I think that, for me, nanotech has been a metaphor [...]

Industry, NGOs call for nanotechnology environmental plan

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2008

Regular Nanodot readers know that we at Foresight focus more on longer-term nanotechnology, especially atomically-precise manufacturing. Yet, we joined with other nonprofits and industry to call for a better plan to address near-term nanomaterial environmental, health, and safety issues. From today’s joint press release by Environmental Defense and Dupont: (Washington, DC – January 16, 2008) [...]

Human enhancement with or without nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 14th, 2008

The first issue of the journal Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology (free reg req’d) is devoted to the topic of Human Enhancement and includes essays by familiar names (de Grey, Freitas, Wolbring, Cameron) and a number of newer ones. In “Medical Nanorobotics: Breaking the Trance of Futility in Life Extension Research (A Reply to [...]

New strategic plan for U.S. Nanotechnology Initiative

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 7th, 2008

On January 2 a press release was issued announcing an updated Strategic Plan (PDF) for the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. For those of us interested in molecular nanosystems and atomically-precise manufacturing, it’s disappointing. I haven’t read the whole thing, but this is the closest wording I could find on a quick skim: A key challenge [...]

Jurvetson on nanotechnology startup ecosystem

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 3rd, 2008

Our favorite nanotechnology VC is Steve Jurvetson, who is interviewed over at LiveMint.com from India, which is affiliated with The Wall Street Journal. An excerpt: How are the elements of the nanotech start-up ecosystem different from other sectors? First, it is hard to find human talent because a lot of the really interesting breakthroughs happen [...]

Nanotechnology: Predictions through 2025

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 31st, 2007

As we close out Nanodot for 2007, we note some predictions for the future of nanotechnology through 2025 from Peter von Stackelberg: “Between the end of the first decade of the 21st century and 2025, a number of gamechangers will need to occur if nanotech is to advance significantly,” von Stackelberg says. These gamechangers include: [...]

Eight nanotechnology scenarios sketch possibilities

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 11th, 2007

CRN has been working on eight scenarios for advanced nanotechtechnology, and they are now available. You can get a quick feel for them by their titles: Scenario 1: Secret Military Development Scenario 2: Positive Expectations Scenario 3: Negative Drivers Scenario 4: Presidential Commission Scenario 5: … And Not a Drop to Drink Scenario 6: A [...]

Get a free nanotechnology education via MIT

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 29th, 2007

Like many MIT alumni, I have decidedly mixed feelings about the school, but one program to be entirely pleased with is OCW: OpenCourseWare, the free online provision of MIT course materials. They just reached a major milestone: Join us as we celebrate the publication of virtually the entire MIT curriculum — 1800 courses — on [...]

Second Life gets Nanotechnology Island

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 20th, 2007

On October 8, some of us were in the air on our way to the Productive Nanosystems Conference (pdf). Others — specifically, UgoTrade.com — were blogging about the new Nanotechnology Island in Second Life: Dave Taylor, of the National Physical Laboratory (in the UK), explains that some of the key objectives are to: “provide resources [...]

Nanotechnology to reduce testing on animals?

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 19th, 2007

Most of us avoid thinking much about the testing of human products on animals to check for safety. It’s distressing and we wish there were another, better way. Nanotech should eventually make such testing entirely obsolete, and the early stages of this process have begun. You can hear the latest in London this May at [...]

Nanotechnology in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 16th, 2007

In their current issue, the folks who usually focus on nuclear war take a look ahead to nanotech war, via a book review by CRN’s Mike Treder of the book Military Nanotechnology: Potential Applications and Preventive Arms Control by Jürgen Altmann. Deeply researched and carefully worded, Military Nanotechnology is an overview of an emerging technology [...]