Thursday, July 17, 2003

Swords into nanoshares

It's rare that my current focus on nanotech actually melds with my previous incarnation as the managing editor of a wire service that covers issues relating to Judaism and Israel, but today, through some kind of kabbalistic convergence of the molecular and the mystic, we have this announcement that former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres will give the keynote address at the World Nano-Economic Conference Sept. 8-10.

I think this announcement illustrates, among other things, how amazingly fast the world can change in one person's lifetime. Peres was born in Poland during the 1920s, an era that scarcely could have imagined a world where nanotech was possible. It was a time when innovative new technologies were being developed that could save lives … or snuff them out, efficiently, by the millions.

Maybe the world hasn't changed so much since then.

Peres, a Nobel laureate, as long been an advocate of the peace process with the Palestinians in part because when it comes to world opinion, the conflict overshadows all of Israel's scientific achievements. Also, quite simply, Israel is using much of its financial and human resources to maintain a security state, rather than developing the science and technology needed to compete in the global marketplace.

For the other reasons why he's a big nanotech advocate, I'll leave it to Peres himself to explain: "Shimon Peres: Nanotechnology holds a key to Israel's future."


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