Monday, October 13, 2003

Postscript on Foresight

I just filed a report on the weekend's Foresight conference for Small Times, so look for it on on Tuesday. Of course, one story and a few blog entries barely scratch the surface of what I've gained from this gathering, so readers here and at Small Times will continue to see reports based on some of the insights I've collected.

Most importantly for me personally, though, was a chance to meet and have detailed conversations with nanotechnology visionaries Eric Drexler and Ralph Merkle. Even those who consider these figures to be far from the mainstream (read tomorrow's Small Times report, and you'll see how this is changing), recognize their influence on a whole generation of nanotechnology's top thinkers.

And Drexler has left me with more than a few things to think about. The author of the 1986 book, "Engines of Creation," considered by many to be the inspirational blueprint for molecular nanotechnology, has granted few interviews to the media these days, just when nanotechnology is entering an important new phase in public consciousness and demand for interviews are high. Based on what he's read in this blog, Drexler decided that he'd grant me an exclusive. He sought me out at this conference, where we had a wide-ranging discussion that I'll ponder on a weeklong vacation amid the woods and cliffs of Big Sur.

The spiritual father of nanotechnology had some surprising things to tell me about the State of the Vision, and about his renewed mission.

See you next week.


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