Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How Stuff Does Not Work

Nanotech Hype or Solid Science (By Geoff Hutchison, it's a puzzle blog)


    Arguably, it’s my current research field—my Ph.D. in chemistry at Northwestern was on electronic materials in general, but one of my advisors and a good chunk of that research group focused on molecular and nanoscale electronic devices. And I’ve read plenty of science fiction, plenty of Eric Drexler’s vision of nanotechnological molecular manufacturing, and of course plenty of science.

    What I find interesting is the distinction between the public perception of “nano” (when there is any) and the hard science research that’s going on. Sometimes the perception is well-informed, and sometimes it’s tremendously overhyped.

    For example, I keep coming across an increasing amount of nanotech hype. For example, see Howstuffworks “How Nanotechnology Will Work” with its movies of “nanogears” supposedly replacing “current manufacturing processes.” It’s straight out of Drexler. I’m sorry. I do not imagine (as the article states) that in “a few decades, we will use these nanomachines to manufacture consumer goods at the molecular level, piecing together one atom or molecule at a time to make baseballs, telephones and cars.” More here

NanoBot Backgrounder
Just who the hell do I think I am?
We all live in a nano submarine
Nanotechnology a 'synthetic haloword'


Geoff Hutchison said...

I should point out that so far, my blog has deactivated comments after X number of days, in an attempt to minimize blogspam. But comments are re-opened.

Howard Lovy said...

Welcome to NanoBot, Geoff, and to our little discussion! I love your molecular gallery, by the way.