Home > News > Nanotechnology without Engines
April 8th, 2009
Nanotechnology without Engines
Over at science progress, there's a recent post by Mody and McCray entitled Big Whig History and Nano Narratives which has some interesting things to say about nanotechnology:
Nanotech contains some elements of recent vintage, but much of the nanotech enterprise is continuous with long-standing trends in science and engineering.
To begin with, to the extent they identify "nanotechnology" with what's being funded by the NNI, they have that exactly right. Progress indeed is being made, but it's progress that would have been made under the old names and organizations (and budgets) pretty much the same.
M&M's key point about "Whig history" — the oversimplified stories of linear progress with good guys and bad guys in black and white — is sound as well.
Whig history would neglect the role of futurists like K. Eric Drexler in the 1980s in popularizing fantastic visions of what radical nanotechnologies might accomplish. …
Whig history would emphasize that Nobelist Richard Smalley did his best to discredit Drexler in 2001 and 2003. But it would ignore Smalley's promotion of Drexler's ideas in the early '90s as a way to build support for his plans for nanotechnology at Rice University.
Unfortunately, perhaps because they are historians and not engineers, this is as much as M&M get right.
News and information
MRI, on a molecular scale: Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules April 20th, 2014
Iranian Researchers Present New Model to Strengthen Superconductivity at Higher Temperatures April 19th, 2014
Iranian Researchers Produce New Anti-Cancer Drug from Turmeric April 19th, 2014
Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014
Preparing for Nano
Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012
Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012
Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012
Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011
Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014
Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014
Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014
The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014
Roomy cages built from DNA: Self-assembling cages are the largest standalone 3-D DNA structures yet, and could one day deliver drugs, or house tiny bioreactors or photonic devices March 13th, 2014
Advantages emerge in using nanostructured material in the forging process of mechanical components February 28th, 2014
Stirring-up atomtronics in a quantum circuit: What's so 'super' about this superfluid February 12th, 2014
Nanomotors are controlled, for the first time, inside living cells February 10th, 2014