Here are a few questions that we are frequently asked, and our answers:
Is nanotechnology dangerous or benign?
Nanotechnology offers great potential for benefit to humankind, and also brings severe dangers. While it is appropriate to examine carefully the risks and possible toxicity of nanoparticles and other products of nanoscale technology, the greatest hazards are posed by malicious or unwise use of general-purpose molecular manufacturing. CRN's focus is on designing and promoting mechanisms for safe development and effective administration of molecular manufacturing (MM).
If nanotechnology is so dangerous, why not just completely halt all research and development?
If approached with pessimism, MM appears far too dangerous to be allowed to develop to anywhere near its full potential. However, a naive approach to limiting R&D, such as relinquishment, is flawed for at least two reasons. First, it will almost certainly be impossible to prevent the development of MM somewhere in the world: China, Japan, and other Asian nations have thriving nanotechnology programs; India and Iran both have recently expressed strong interest in developing nanotechnology; and the rapid advance of enabling technologies such as biotechnology, MEMS, and scanning-probe microscopy ensures that R&D efforts will be far easier in the near future than they are today. Second, MM will provide benefits that are simply too good to pass up, including environmental repair; clean, cheap, and efficient manufacturing; medical breakthroughs; immensely powerful computers; and easier access to space.
Are you "boosters" for nanotech?
We are boosters for safe use of nanotechnology. CRN promotes research into MM not in spite of the risks, but because of the risks. Only through exploration, understanding, and education can we hope to make good decisions about developing and administering this transformative technology.