Kurzweil, Others Form Task Force on Nano’s Societal Implications

Today the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) announced the charter members of a new Task Force convened to study the societal implications of this rapidly emerging technology. Bringing together a diverse group of world-class experts from multiple disciplines, CRN will begin a historic, collaborative effort to develop comprehensive policy recommendations for the safe and responsible use of molecular manufacturing.

Nanotechnology is the projected ability to make things from the bottom up, using techniques and tools that are being developed today to place every atom and molecule in a desired place. When this form of molecular engineering is achieved, it will result in a manufacturing revolution — with more promise for society than the computer revolution, but with potentially serious economic, social, environmental, and military implications.

Mike Treder, Executive Director of CRN, made the following statement:

“Progress toward developing the technical requirements for desktop molecular manufacturing is moving faster than it was when we founded CRN two years ago. The recent announcement of a Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, to be organized by the Battelle research organization and the Foresight Nanotech Institute, has highlighted the urgent need for parallel policy discussions at the highest levels. We must not allow efforts to effectively prepare for the impacts of nanotechnology to lag behind advances on the technical side.

“All of our research to date shows that molecular manufacturing will have a transformative impact on our society, industry, the environment, and geopolitics. Without adequate preparation and study, the effects could be dangerously disruptive.

“CRN is honored today to announce the charter members who will head the important work of the Task Force. They share our vision that it is critical to begin this dialogue and to include people with expertise and worldviews spanning the globe. In addition, we are proud to have both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Society of Police Futurists International as organizational participants.”

Charter members of the Task Force include:

Nick Bostrom, Ph.D. — Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
David Brin — Author, The Transparent Society
Jerome C. Glenn — Millennium Project, American Council for the United Nations University
Ray Kurzweil — Founder and CEO, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Treder continued, “We look forward to working together with all these leaders in their respective fields to establish a factual foundation for advanced nanotechnology; identify potential problems arising from the technology and its administration; design recommendation for global solutions; plan and strategize the implementation of the solutions; and communicate our findings to where they need to be heard.

“Without mutual understanding and cooperation in making policy, the hazardous potentials of advanced nanotechnology could spiral out of control and deny any hope of realizing the benefits to society. The CRN Task Force, led by this talented group of charter members, is poised to begin this important work.”

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (http://CRNano.org) is a non-profit research and advocacy organization concerned with the major societal and environmental implications of advanced nanotechnology. CRN promotes public awareness and education, and the crafting of effective policy to maximize benefits and reduce dangers. Headquartered in New York, CRN is an affiliate of World Care, an international, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.

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