NRC nanotech report to intelligence community is too near-term

A National Research Council report titled “Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community” takes a short-term view that may not serve that community well. Defining “long term” to be 10 years (page eight), the report concludes (page 12): “the committee remains skeptical of claims that nanotechnology will have the kind of broad, revolutionary impact that has characterized fields such as biotechnology or microelectronics.” Read more for an even more unfortunate statement. The report thanks Dr. David Forrest of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (page 7), but I’m sure he would not agree with these parts of the report.

From page 11:

“This expert advice will also help the IC [intelligence community] to avoid investing in “science fiction”(1) areas such as nonbiological exponential manufacturing systems (assemblers).”

Footnote 1 reads: “In this report, the Committee uses the phrase “science fiction” to describe those concepts that are sufficiently improbable, based on known or foreseeable science, that they do not justify investment at this time.”

This is sad. Here we have an existence proof of biological systems, yet the NRC regards implementing a nonbiological system as improbable based on foreseeable science. How is this position different from vitalism? –CP

Leave a comment

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop