Who's opposing nanotechnology development?

from the getting-the-facts-right dept.
Senior Associate Mark Muhlestein writes to point out an ACM TECH_News summary "Big Risks on a Minuscule Scale" that, amazingly, labels Foresight Chair Eric Drexler as opposed to the development of nanotechnology: "The wide scope of potential nanotech applications makes it hard to determine the most dangerous risks, but opposition figures such as Eric Drexler and Bill Joy have envisioned doomsday scenarios in which nanobots either self-replicate and overwhelm the planet, or wreak havoc from within the human body." The ACM piece summarizes an article published in the Financial Times (09/25/02) reporting the fears of certain environmental groups (in particular one with the acronym ETC) that nanoparticles will pollute the environment unless all nanotech research is halted until its environmental impact has been thoroughly evaluated. The position of ETC, and responses to it, have been the subject of nanodot posts on October 18, 2002, August 19, 2002, and earlier posts cited therein. Bill Joy has been publicly worrying for more than two years that robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology might make humans extinct. [See also the special article in Foresight Update 41.] Eric Drexler has been worried about potential abuse of nanotechnology for more than 20 years (for example, see Engines of Destruction and A Dialog on Dangers) However, rather than opposing the development of nanotechnology, Drexler has sought ways in which nanotechnology can be safely developed and used to improve the human condition. See for example, the audio presentation A World with Advancing Technology.

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