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August 2nd, 2007
Nanotechnology: Activists throw baby out with bathwater
First, I should state that I yield to no one when it comes to caring about the environment. That's what got me interested in nanotechnology in the first place, and a large part of why Foresight was founded in 1986 and keeps going today.
So I was disappointed with the recent press release from a large number of activist groups demanding strong restrictions on nanotech. Their position involves an underlying assumption that nanotech, overall, will be more harmful to the environment than the technologies we are using today — the technologies that nanotech will replace. This assumption is unproven and quite possibly wrong. Nano watchers know that nanotechnologies are being widely used already in products designed to lessen the burden on the environment.
In the longer term, we can expect even more improvements, since by its very nature, nanotech is about gaining better control of what we do with matter. The ultimate goal is the complete elimination of chemical pollution.
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