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Best Of The Best
For the past six years the team at Nanotechnology Now
has tracked the thousands of websites, individuals, businesses, and government and educational institutions that exist in the nanospace. We read about and report on them every day, 365 days a year. By interviewing them, and covering their news, opinions, discoveries, triumphs and failures, we have come to appreciate a few above the rest.
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology™ (CRN) A non-profit organization, formed to advance the safe use of molecular nanotechnology, CRN was founded by Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder in December 2002. The vision of CRN is a world in which nanotechnology is widely used for productive and beneficial purposes, and where malicious uses are limited by effective administration of the technology.
Neither Chris or Mike stand passively on the sidelines. They went into this venture knowing that now is the time to prepare for the road ahead (*), and eagerly accepted the challenge. While there are an infinate number of possible futures, our best bet is to understand the implications of nanoscale science, nanoscale engineering, and molecular manufacturing, and then make intelligent decisions regarding their use. Chris and Mike help us do just that.
In 2003, Chris and Mike opened the year by telling us - in simple terms - what nanotechnology is all about, (1) then they explained to the world how a nanotech future may be here sooner than we think. (2) They also debated nanotechnology with a sceptic, and forced him to "reconsider my position that the nanoassembler cannot be achieved in principle." (3) For those of us unable to find the time to read it, they condensed the 556 page Nanosystems into a 5-minute overview, so that we could all get a handle on it. And to close out the year, they even told us how gray goo is not going to eat us! (when most of us thought it would). (5)
I asked them where they were headed in 2004, to which Mike replied: "CRN will continue working hard in 2004, applying what we've learned and breaking new ground where we can. Nanotechnology offers the most wonderful benefits and the most serious risks we've ever faced -- the human race can't afford to get it wrong." (6)
For their efforts to help insure the safe use of nanotechnology-enabled products, we present to CRN the "Best Advocate" and "Best of the Best" awards for 2003.
(*) At an April conference sponsored by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Mihail Roco, the nanotech guru at the National Science Foundation, noted, "Developments in nanotechnology are going much faster than expected; in fact, development time is less than half that we expected." Roco also flatly declared, "If a company does not enter nanotechnology now -- in five years it will be too late -- it will be out of business." From The Smaller the Better