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CRN Global Task Force on Implications and Policy

In August 2005, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology announced the formation of a 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 is leading an historic, collaborative effort to develop comprehensive recommendations for the safe and responsible use of nanotechnology.

Progress toward developing the technical requirements for desktop molecular manufacturing is moving forward rapidly. The creation of a Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, undertaken by the Battelle research organization and the Foresight Nanotech Institute, highlights the urgent need for parallel policy discussions at the highest levels. CRN will not allow efforts to effectively prepare for the impacts of nanotechnology to lag behind advances on the technical side.

Without mutual understanding and cooperation on a global level, 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 a talented group of charter members, is undertaking this important work. Early efforts of the Task Force have underscored CRN's belief that there are no easy answers and no simple solutions.

From the beginning, the aim has been to concentrate first on fully defining the challenge:

bulletWhat risks do we really face?
bulletHow do they relate to each other?
bulletWhat is most important to know in order to design wise and effective policies for molecular manufacturing?

For their first major project, the Task Force chose to generate a range of independent essays identifying and defining specific concerns. We encourage everyone to respond to this work and to future publications of the CRN Task Force with your questions, comments, and criticism.

The second major project of the CRN Global Task Force is the creation of a series of professional-quality scenarios of a near-future world in which exponential general-purpose molecular manufacturing becomes a reality. The purpose is to offer plausible, logical, understandable "stories" that illustrate the challenge of contending with the implications of advanced nanotechnology. What will that future look like? What can we learn from picturing it now that might help us to avoid the worst pitfalls and generate the greatest benefits?

Members of the CRN Task Force

Endorsing Organizations

Battelle/Foresight Technology Roadmap Initiative

CRN Task Force Essays

CRN Task Force Nanotechnology Scenarios


Members of the CRN Task Force

CRN is proud to work 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 Task Force findings to where they need to be heard.

Charter Members:

Nick Bostrom, Ph.D. Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
David Brin Author, The Transparent Society
Robert A. Freitas Jr. Author, Nanomedicine
Jerome C. Glenn Millennium Project, American Council for the United Nations University
Ray Kurzweil Founder and CEO, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.
Chris Phoenix Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Mike Treder Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Additional Members:

John Abbe Co-Intelligence Institute
Mohamad Mova Al' Afghani International Law, Indonesia
Fritz Allhoff Western Michigan University
Amara Angelica
Michael Anissimov Lifeboat Foundation
Russell Brand Cataphora, Inc.
Damien Broderick Author
Christopher Bunting International Risk Governance Council
Michael Buerger Bowling Green University
Steven Burgess
Burgess Consulting & Forensics
James Canton Institute for Global Futures
Jamais Cascio Open the
Steffen Christensen Office of the National Science Advisor, Canada
Tom Cowper Society of Police Futurists International
Tom Craver Intel Corporation
Sonia Dalcomuni Center of Law and Economics, Brazil
Jennifer DeLurio Environment Agency of England and Wales
Sujoy Dutta Senior Business Analyst, Delhi, India
Tyler Emerson Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Fern Evitt New Zealand Institute of Directors
Janet Fogarty, Esq. Janet Fogarty & Associates
J. Storrs Hall Nanorex
Robin Hanson George Mason University
Graham Holt Collegium
Lisa Hopper World Care
James Hughes Trinity College
Leslie H. Jarmon The University of Texas at Austin
Carl Jensen FBI Academy
Barbara Lamar Attorney, CPA
Jaron Lanier Silicon Graphics
Patrick Lin The Nanoethics Group
Brian Lundquist Publisher, Nanotechnology Now
Gary Marchant Arizona State University
Jessica Margolin Institute for the Future
Ralph C. Merkle Institute for Molecular Manufacturing
Max More Manyworlds, Inc.
Douglas Mulhall Author
Ramez Naam Author
Noel Nevshehir Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Harvey Newstrom IT Security Architect
Lauren O'Neill Institute for Defense Analyses
Deborah Osborne Buffalo (NY) Police Department
Giulio Prisco Future Technologies Advisory Group
Jeremy Ramsden Cranfield University
Rocky Rawstern "Nanoscale Materials and Nanotechnology" (blog)
Glenn Reynolds University of Tennessee
Rebecca Rippin
Wrye Sententia Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
Kenneth Sills Immortality Institute
Marcene Sonneborn Central NY Technology Development Organization
Alex Spencer Student
Tihamer T. Toth-Fejel General Dynamics
Gregory Trocchia Independent Software Consultant
Thomas D. Vandermolen Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Philippe Van Nedervelde e-spaces
Michael Vassar Consultant
Natasha Vita-More Extropy Institute
David Voyle Nano Tsunami
Brian L. Wang Visa Corporation
Rosa Wang Geographic Engine
Nathaniel Welch Free and open source software developer/advocate

Endorsing Organizations:

Society of Police Futurists International
The Nanoethics Group
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Nanotechnology Now

World Care


CRN is a non-profit research and advocacy organization, completely dependent on small grants and individual contributions.


Copyright 2002-2008 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology TM        CRN is an affiliate of World Care, an international, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.