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
Iranian Researchers Synthesize Stable Ceramic Nanopowders at Room Temperature September 20th, 2014
Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014
SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014
Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 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
Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014
IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014
Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014
Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014
Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014
Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014
Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014
NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014