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Nanotech Could Be a Tragedy or a Triumph

A new non-profit organization has been formed to investigate the effective use of advanced 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 good, while malicious uses are limited by effective administration of the technology.

Mike Treder, Executive Director of CRN, is a business professional with a background in technology and communications company management. “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,” said Treder. “That dream is now within sight—but so also 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 your 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,” said 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 issues—and will devise and present workable proposals. “We see our role primarily as educational,” said 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,” added Treder. “The human race can’t afford to do this wrong.”

CRN was a non-profit research and advocacy organization, completely dependent on small grants and individual contributions.


Copyright © 2002-2008 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology TM        CRN was an affiliate of World Care®, an international, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.