Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Nanotechnology a 'synthetic haloword'

Local economy: Nano-tech not the answer (Rustum Roy, writing in the Centre Daily Times)

    I was one of the senior science advisers to four successive governors of Pennsylvania. While sounding like Cassandra, I am in favor with U.S. industrialists because I keep some of them from wasting hundreds of millions of dollars chasing will-o-the-wisps. I address this to journalists and research funders (public and private).

    The "tiny technology" in your headline -- "nanotechnology" -- to which you refer is, in the view of many, merely one of those synthetic "halowords" being used recently to hype one area of research at the cost of other areas. (Every chemist -- like me -- has worked with and manipulated atoms and molecules, sub-nano particles, for 200 years; nanoscientists?)

    Twenty years ago, the world wasted $10 billion research and development dollar on ceramic engines; 10 years ago, it was even more on "ceramic superconductors." Jobs anyone? Do not get me wrong. Of course, every country's government and industry should follow such leads -- but only at a minor research level until some real, saleable products appear. That is when big scale R/D is justified. More here

NanoBot Backgrounder
From Wilkes-Barre to Wolfe
Fuzzy Nano Math

No comments: