Sunday, January 02, 2005

Where is the hype?

Nanotech: The Rebranding Of Chemistry And Other Boring Sciences (techdirt)

    There's been a lot of talk about "nanotechnology" lately, and we've noted in the past that an awful lot of these companies seem to simply be about taking anything "small" that sounds science fiction-like and building up some buzz around it. Business Week is running an interview with a nanotechnology "world leader," talking up the space -- but you have to question what exactly the space really is. When asked about the "hype," this expert claims that all the hype is around nanobots -- which no one is seriously working on. Of course, nanobots seem to be the closest thing to actually being new and innovative compared to the rest of the space. In fact, it's hard to tell from the article how everything else he's talking about is anything other than chemistry, with a shiny coat of marketing hype and dreams of big payouts from investors. More here
NanoBot Backgrounder
Operation Inform Chad
Stop worrying and learn to love nanobots
Nano and Commerce: Part 2


Anonymous said...

Won't nanobots also be chemistry in one form of another? Or will they transcend the physics of chemical reactions entirely?

Exotic chemistry is still chemistry.

Howard Lovy said...

Well, the way I understand it, the "nanoengineer" of the future is going to need training in a number of different disciplines – from theoretical physics to biology to chemistry to materials science.

Most of us received our education within the separate boxes that contain the traditional scientific disciplines. But educational systems and governments everywhere are recognizing that all things converge on the nanoscale.

So, many proponents of molecular manufacturing are comfortable with physics, but rarely get their hands wet with chemicals.

I'm overgeneralizing, but I do think that the trend toward converging sciences will break down a great many of these barriers and make some of the arguments on these pages seem a bit outdated and silly.