CRN exists for the purpose of stimulating discussion about advanced nanotechnology—the risks, benefits, and administration options—and for conducting and promoting research into molecular manufacturing and its societal implications.
We were founded on the premise that this technology will someday be developed, and that because its projected impacts are quite severe, we should determine how soon it may be coming and what can be done to ease its entry into the world.
We find it alarming that some leaders in the business community, in government positions, and even in the scientific establishment will go on record saying that molecular manufacturing as envisioned by CRN is impossible.
Impossible? That’s a mighty big word, especially for a scientist who ought to know better.
Consider these earlier prognostications:
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Physicist and mathematician Lord Kelvin, President of the British Royal Society, 1895
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899
"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." - Robert Milikan, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1923
"Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility—a development which we should waste little time dreaming about." - Lee de Forest, inventor of the cathode ray tube, 1926
"Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them." - Science Digest, August 1948
Let’s be very clear: no one has yet shown that molecular manufacturing cannot someday be developed. People may say that it’s impossible for one reason or another, but there is no proof — none — that advanced nanotechnology can’t lead to the very scenarios we envision.
Those who make pronouncements of certain impossibility are not stating scientific fact. They’re simply giving an opinion. It may be an educated opinion, or it may be based primarily on intuition, or it simply may be wishful thinking. But it’s an opinion, not fact. And if they deter investigation into this powerful technology, those opinions may be dangerous.