The First Foresight Conference
on Nanotechnology

Conference Proceedings
Update articles about the Conference

The first in the series of Foresight Conferences
on Molecular Nanotechnology.

The conference was held October 27-29, 1989.

This was the first comprehensive conference on the topic of nanotechology. The conference drew participants from three continents and many disciplines.

Conference Location

Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA

It was to have been held at Stanford University, but an earthquake the previous week forced relocation of most of the sessions to the Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto, California.

Conference Sponsors

The First Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology, chaired by K. Eric Drexler, was cosponsored by the Foresight Institute and the Global Business Network and was hosted by the Stanford University Department of Computer Science. Financial support was generously provided by the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc.



Titles and affiliations are given as of 1989 and are not necessarily current.

Friday evening, October 27. 7-11 PM

Informal reception at Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto

Sponsored by Global Business Network

Welcoming remarks by Nils Nilsson,

Chairman of Stanford Department of Computer Science

Saturday morning, October 28, 8:30 AM - 12

Registration at Garden Court Hotel
Chairman's overview and introduction

Eric Drexler, Visiting Scholar
Stanford Department of Computer Science

Control of solid state structure in molecular materials by electrostatic self-assembly

Michael D. Ward, Research Scientist
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Atomic imaging and positioning

John Foster, IBM Almaden Research
Manager, Molecular Studies for Manufacturing

Saturday afternoon, 1 - 5 PM

Protein design

Tracy Handel, Visiting Research Scientist
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Molecular modeling and design

Jay Ponder, Associate Research Scientist
Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale Univ.

Molecular electronics

Robert Birge, Prof., Chemistry Dept.
Director, Center for Molecular Electronics, Syracuse Univ.

Molecular modeling and other demonstrations, informal discussion

Saturday evening at Stanford Faculty Club

Quantum transistors and integrated circuits

Federico Capasso, AT&T Bell Labs
Head of Quantum Phenomena and Device Research Dept.

What could we do with a trillion processors?

Bill Joy, VP Research and Development
Sun Microsystems

Sunday morning, October 29, 9 AM - 12

Nanotechnology from a micromachinist's viewpoint

Joseph Mallon, Co-President, Nova Sensor

Theoretical limits to computation

Norman Margolus, Research Associate
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science

Strategies for molecular systems engineering

Eric Drexler, Visiting Scholar
Stanford Department of Computer Science

Technical panel: What are the major problems to be overcome in designing and building molecular systems?

Sunday afternoon

Molecular engineering in Japan: Progress toward nanotechnology

Hiroyuki Sasabe, Head of Biopolymer Physics Laboratory
Frontier Research Program, RIKEN
The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Japan

Possible medical spin-offs on the way to nanotechnology

Greg Fahy, Project Leader for Organ Cryopreservation
American Red Cross Transplantation Laboratory

Hopes and fears of an environmentalist for nanotechnologies

Lester Milbrath, Prof. of Political Science and Sociology
Director, Research Program in Environment and Society
State Univ. of New York at Buffalo

Risk assessment

Ralph Merkle, Member, Research Staff
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

Economic consequences

Gordon Tullock, Prof. of Economics and Political Science
Univ. of Arizona

Living with explosively growing technology

Arthur Kantrowitz, Prof. of Engineering, Dartmouth College

Consequences panel: What public policy pitfalls should be avoided in nanotechnology development and regulation?
Molecular modeling and other demonstrations, informal discussions



Conference Proceedings

The conference proceedings are available in book form.

Nanotechnology: Research and Perspectives

edited by BC Crandall and James Lewis (1992, MIT Press, hardbound)
ISBN 0-262-03195-7. 381 + ix pages. Includes bibliographic references and index.

This heavily illustrated volume of proceedings from the First Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology gives a good overview of the various fields contributing to molecular nanotechnology development.

In addition to 18 chapters representing the talks and panel discussions from the conference, there are two appendices, which reprint:

Articles about this book appear in Update 12 and in Update 15.

The Book Order Form may be used to order this book from the Foresight Institute.

This book may also be ordered from our online bookstore in association with


Update articles about the Conference