Thursday, June 7, 2007

Report and views on CRN- Responsible Nanotechnology Group

CRN is the only real unbiased one was the nonprofit group I observed. Center for Responsible Nanotechnology have the agenda of promoting “safe nanotechnology,” and can be considered neutral relative to the other sources, who either promoting mass fear of nanotechnology or promote almost entirely unconditional acceptance of it.

Following are the more details about CRN…some things like Mission and About us are copied from there site and then my views are expressed.

Mission copied from site:

The next Industrial Revolution is right around the corner. Fourth generation nanotechnology — molecular manufacturing — will radically transform the world, and the people, of the early 21st century. Whether that transformation will be peaceful and beneficial or horrendously destructive is unknown. Although nanotechnology carries great promise, unwise or malicious use could seriously threaten the survival of the human race. The vision of CRN is a world in which molecular manufacturing is widely used for productive and beneficial purposes, and where dangerous uses are limited.

The mission of CRN is to: 1) raise awareness of the benefits, the dangers, and the possibilities for responsible use of advanced nanotechnology; 2) expedite a thorough examination of the environmental, humanitarian, economic, military, political, social, medical, and ethical implications of molecular manufacturing; and 3) assist in the creation and implementation of wise, comprehensive, and balanced plans for responsible worldwide use of this transformative technology.

•About CRN copied from site:

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is a non-profit research and advocacy think tank concerned with the major societal and environmental implications of advanced nanotechnology. We are a modern, networked, virtual organization -- with no "brick and mortar" -- a collection of more than 100 volunteers, over 1000 interested followers, and a small team of primary coordinators.

CRN engages individuals and groups to better understand the implications of molecular manufacturing and to focus on the real risks and benefits of the technology. Our goal is the creation and implementation of wise, comprehensive, and balanced plans for responsible worldwide use of this transformative technology.

• Affiliated with WorldCare; WorldCare has its board of directors easily accessible – they include academia, media, businesspeople, and former government workers. Also get their money from grants/donations and had easily accessible financial statement

• Board of directors = academia/environmentalists/activists/businesspeople with government ‘special associates’

• Board is fairly balanced but it is mostly activists.

• Emphasis on international cooperation – but the international people are entrepreneurs, even though they are ‘social entrepreneurs’

• Eric Drexler is on this board

• Views (copied from website):

  • Effective use of nanotechnology can benefit everyone.
  • Unwise use of nanotechnology can be very dangerous.
  • Nanofactory technology can be used safely.
  • Preventing nanotechnology is impossible; careful study will be necessary for wise use.
  • Effective use of nanotechnology will require intelligent and prudent policy-making.
  • The situation is urgent; nanofactories may be developed within a decade.

This site has several links to educate the public, with some of the specifically meant to educate students on what nanotechnology is. They also have technical papers for free download and a blog. Overall this group focuses on educating the public on what nanotechnology/research advances so this way people can engage in *informed* dialogue about the societal implications of nanotechnology. The people that run the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology are very very open with absolutely everything that they do – this includes their sources of funding, their background, their views, and their goals. They have a Frequently Asked Questions page that very closely resembles the criteria for evaluating resources that we developed in class. This openness makes me trust these people, as does the fact that their views are actually quite similar to the views we seem to be developing in class – that we need to be cautious but optimistic. The founders of this group believe in the development/implementation of smart regulations for nanotechnology – but that research should go forward even though there are some dangers. People in this group believe that nanotechnology can be managed. This site is positive about nanotechnology as a whole but it manages to communicate this to the user in an unbiased fashion and I think that they do a good job of encouraging people to be open-minded who might not otherwise be that way.

CRN is mostly discussing about Molecular Nanotechnology(MNT), nanofactory, dangers, benefits vs Risks….etc

They have tree point agenda….




Issues cover What is Nanotechnology, Benefits, Risks?? . Solutions discusses How soon do we need to prepare ? Restrictions? How can opportunities extended to all?

Actions is to Join CRN , sign up etc. And I think this (Actions) part must be more active and be pragmatic. It must have more real activities and more to concentrate on.

Chris Phoenix, Director of Research, CRN released Thirty Essential Studies report which is well studied and documented.

WiseNano ( ) is a project run by CRN founders.

A collaborative project to study the facts and implications of advanced nanotechnology — a website for researchers worldwide to work together, helping to build an understanding of the technologies, their effects, and what to do about them.


Analysis of sources for midterm report by Maggie

-Center for responsible nanotechnology

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