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May 1st, 2006
Swallowed by ‘grey goo’
Having earnestly resisted the best endeavours of the scientific community to make them eat herbicide-ready bread, is the Australian public turning a similarly jaundiced eye on nanotechnology?
Molecule-for-molecule there are few more exciting scientific fields today, and the rush by universities and research institutions to set up shiny new nanocentres and nanoteams has been one of the most positive episodes in recent Australian research investment. The sky is the limit - especially when you consider the potential of quantum computing, nanosensors, nanobots, nanobio and the like.
The question is, will the nanobrigade make the same fundamental error as the biobrigade? Will they do magnificent science, only to see it rejected, stalled and bagged by the community? Will the huge investment fail to deliver because we overlooked the most basic issue - whether or not people want it?
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