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Royal Society report

qftconnor writes: Readers might be interested in skimming through the recent Royal Society report Nanotechnology: views of Scientists and Engineers. I found the parts labeled 'Science Fiction' to be particularly entertaining. A typical remark: "Nanorobots ñ the biocomplexity of putting a nanorobot in the body to enter and repair cells has been massively overestimated [sic]. ëWeíll never know enough to go in and cure a cellí. This scenario also fails to recognise that the emphasis in health care is on developing non-invasive techniques and essentially persuading the body to heal itself." Sure."

2 Responses to “Royal Society report”

  1. Morgaine Says:

    Very narrow brief, no MNT focus at all.

    The Royal Society Report mirrors what happened recently in the US to a substantial degree. There was no attempt to addresses MNT as we know it at all. Instead the entire focus was on nanoscience and on "nanotechnology" as a semantic extension — "application of nanoscience". Since they defined nanoscience as being what chemists and materials technologists do already, and liberally mixed it up with mention of microtechnology in sensors and in the semiconductor industry, they've effectively derailed support for MNT in exactly the same way as in the US.

    Is this really such a great surprise? This is how mankind works. When confronted by the new, the establishment always either rejects the entire proposition as nonsense or else begins to claim that it was there long before you were and hence is the leading player and powerbase. That's people for you.

    Don't expect fair play here. The Drexlerian dream is either going to have to make itself self-sufficient at home or look to other parts of the planet where positions and power structures are less entrenched.

  2. RichardJones Says:

    Re:Very narrow brief, no MNT focus at all.

    I should point out that this document isn't the Royal Society Report as such, it is simply one working document that will be considered by the working group when they write their full report, that will come out next spring. It's simply an account of one workshop where a bunch of (not necessarily that prominent) scientists gave their opinions. The disclaimer on the Royal Soc website says: "The views summarised within this document do not represent a consensus of the views of the attendees and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nanotechnology working group."

    Many other people have given evidence to the inquiry, both in writing and in person. One of them was Drexler himself. We should see this evidence published on the Royal Society web-site sometime soon.

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