28.11.03

NANOTECHNOLOGY - Your opinion counts!

The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering want your views on new health and safety, environmental, social and ethical issues nanotechnology might raise, as part of their public consultation on nanotech.

The document produced as part of the nanotechnology consultation is a sober, middle of the road sort of thing, which is fine as far as it goes, especially as it will help nip in the bud any scaremongering from neo-luddite groups. However, from an extropian point of view, it only offers a very limited and unimaginative vision of medium and long-term developments. The grey goo scenario is dealt with by estimating that, if at all possible, it will not be a worry before "perhaps 2080 at least", without a mention of active shields, and the possibility of ever achieving immortality, or a radically increased life expectancy, is not even deemed worth of consideration. The whole thing is dealt with with a single phrase in a "science fiction" section...

In short, we should be glad that this document suggests a pragmatic approach to the short-term development of nanotechnology, as this will eventually lead to the development of the type of transhumanist technologies we are interested in. However, a little injection of futurist comments from the public (i.e. us!) might be necessary...

...but act quickly: the deadline is the 5th of December 2003!

Find out more and download a PDF version of the document "Nanotechnology: view of Scientists and Engineers"

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