In addition to CRN's focus on advanced nanotechnology -- especially molecular manufacturing -- we try to keep abreast of relevant developments in other fields. Progress made in biotechnology, for example, or cognitive science, or certainly computing and information technology, could have a significant effect on the rate at which nanotechnology can develop, and its impacts when it does.
Here is an article posted at the AlwaysOn Network about "Five big tech stories for 2005", including the prospect of massive new Internet attacks and the continuing spread of "spyware." Ominous stuff, especially for those of us worried about the powerful new capabilities that advanced nano may offer to those with malicious intent.
CRN is not alone, of course, in trying to understand how emerging technologies will affect society, and in recommending preparatory and ameliorative steps. The Foresight Institute, a forerunner of CRN, continues to make important contributions. Many other groups have formed or are forming in response to the increasing changes that confront us. One firm in particular that we are conferring with is the Future Technologies Advisory Group, described as:
A consulting and media company focused on promoting awareness and understanding of radical scientific advances and emerging technologies, as well as evaluating their impact on individuals, businesses and societies.
Our target markets are the media, and policy makers in government and industry. We develop science information products aimed at a wide audience and suitable for publishing, broadcasting and the web, and more detailed information and consulting products aimed at specific clients.
Whatever 2005 -- and the decades beyond -- will bring, it's likely to be both exciting and challenging. We look forward to working with groups like this and with the readers of this blog in learning about emerging technologies, and in engaging and empowering people everywhere to make our future as bright as it can be.