PRESS RELEASE: OCTOBER 14, 2004
announces the Wise-Nano project
Nanotechnology will change the world. But how
much, how soon, how fast, and how powerfully? Today we have many more questions
To begin finding answers, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) has
initiated the Wise-Nano project, a collaborative online effort to study the
facts and implications of advanced nanotechnology.
Wise-Nano.org is built on MediaWiki technology, so any user can add content,
or improve existing content.
Wise-Nano.org site, users can:
- Learn about wise use of advanced
- Ask questions
- Join a project
- Start a project
- Answer questions
- Create or edit articles
- Expand or review articles
- Contribute to discussions
- Find collaborators for research
“Building a foundation for wise nanotechnology will not be easy,” says
CRN’s Director of Research. “Chemists, political scientists, physicists,
lawyers, engineers, economists, sociologists, medical doctors, ecologists, and
ethicists will need to work together to ask and answer the right questions.”
Recent research has found that the design of a self-fabricating system might be
simpler than a desktop computer's CPU. An automated, self-contained factory
could build lifesaving medical robots—or untraceable weapons of mass
destruction. For less than a million dollars, it could build networked computers
for everyone in the world—and for another million, networked cameras so
governments can watch our every move.
Cheap, clean manufacturing could create abundant wealth, but will also create a
vicious scramble to own the benefits. Fast, automated prototyping will enable
rapid invention of wondrous products, but fast weapons development could lead to
an unstable arms race.
“Without advance planning—without wise and well-informed policy—we will walk
blindly off a cliff,” says Phoenix. “Bad policy will lead to mushrooming
problems, which will inspire more bad policy. In the struggle between anarchy
and oppression, the one sure loser will be ‘we the people.’”
Wise-Nano.org is a website for researchers worldwide to work together,
helping to build an understanding of the technologies, their effects, and what
to do about them. CRN’s Chris Phoenix administers the Wise-Nano site, and CRN
hosts the site, but it belongs to all users.
“CRN is working on finding policy and technical solutions,” says
Executive Director of CRN, “but no single approach will solve all problems or
address all needs. The only answer is a collective answer, and that will demand
an unprecedented collaboration—a network of leaders and researchers in business,
government, academia, and NGOs.
Wise-Nano.org is a first step in that direction.”