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A new non-profit organization has been formed to advance the safe use of molecular nanotechnology. The Center for Responsible 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.
CRN President Mike Treder, a business professional with a background in technology and communications company management, is both optimistic and cautious about the implications of advanced nanotechnology. “Since the 1980’s, when Eric Drexler wrote Engines of Creation, many of us have dreamed of a world with cheap, non-polluting, innovative manufacturing capability,” says Treder. “That dream is now within sight—but so is the nightmare of accidental or deliberate misuse.”
Nanotechnology refers to the concept of building complicated machines out of precisely designed molecules. With devices only a few nanometers wide, it will become possible to build a supercomputer smaller than a grain of sand; a weapon smaller than a mosquito; a self-contained factory that sits on a kitchen counter.
Chris Phoenix, CRN’s Director of Research, is an inventor, entrepreneur, and published author in the fields of nanomedicine, nanomanufacturing, and administration of nanotechnology. “We believe that even a technology as powerful as nanotechnology can be used wisely and well—but that without adequate information, unwise use will be far too common,” says Phoenix. “The humanitarian potential is vast, and opportunities for economic benefit are astronomical, but so is the potential for abuse.”
In order to provide well-grounded and complete information, CRN is researching all the issues involved—political, economic, military, humanitarian, and technological—and will devise and present workable proposals. “We see our role primarily as educational,” says Phoenix. “The problems are large, but we are finding good solutions. The more we investigate, however, the more urgency we see. Practical molecular nanotechnology may not be far away and we must not be caught unprepared.”
“The potential dangers are ominous, and the possible benefits are enormous,” says Treder. “The human race can’t afford to do this wrong.”
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology™ is headquartered in New York. CRN is an affiliate of World Care®, an international, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. For more information on CRN, see www.CRNano.org.
Reprinted with premission.
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