X-Message-Number: 21642
From: "MIKE TREDER" <>
Subject: CRN publishes list of future nanotech dangers
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 20:27:55 -0400

After months of intensive study, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology 
(CRN) has identified 11 separate, significant risks of advanced 
nanotechnology. CRN is also researching solutions that may effectively 
address each of those risks. Descriptions of all the risks   and proposed 
solutions   are now posted online at www.crnano.org/overview.htm.

Chris Phoenix, CRN s Director of Research, emphasizes that these are 
preliminary findings.  These new web pages summarize the existing state of 
our understanding of molecular nanotechnology, its risks and problems, and 
possible solutions that can promote safe use while avoiding unsafe or 
irresponsible use,  says Phoenix.  Some of our opinions will probably 
change. We are publishing these results now because we are looking for 
comments and criticism from interested and informed parties. 

It s important to note that  nanotechnology  means different things to 
different people. Most of today s investment and press coverage concerns 
nanomaterials research, which deals with exploiting novel properties of 
materials at the nanoscale. CRN s research and policy papers focus on 
molecular nanotechnology (MNT), a near-future technology that will build 
machines and products molecule by molecule, with every atom precisely 

Molecular nanotechnology will be a significant breakthrough, comparable 
perhaps to the Industrial Revolution   but compressed into a few years. The 
potential benefits to humanity are almost incalculable, but in order to 
avoid the dangers we must thoroughly understand them and then develop a 
comprehensive plan to avert them. The first step in understanding the 
dangers is to identify them, and CRN has begun that important process.

 One of the dangers of talking about risks is that it can prompt knee-jerk 
reactions in some people,  says Mike Treder, Executive Director of CRN. 
 There are indeed serious risks, and many of them are quite worrisome. The 
answer, however, is not to hide our head in the sand and hope nanotech will 
go away, because it won t. Sooner or later, someone will develop MNT, and it 
will be very disruptive. We need to perform a thorough, rational exploration 
of all the problems that may arise, and then seek effective solutions. 

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is headquartered in New York. CRN 
is an affiliate of World Care, an international, non-profit, 501(c)(3) 
organization. For more information on CRN, see www.CRNano.org.


See you in the future!

Mike Treder

Executive Director, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology - 
Director, World Transhumanist Association - http://transhumanism.org
Executive Advisory Team, Extropy Institute - http://extropy.org
Founder, Incipient Posthuman Website - http://incipientposthuman.com
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