Continuing our five-part series...
CRN's conclusions about the potentially transformative and disruptive nature of molecular manufacturing are still not widely accepted. It is sometimes easier to find disagreement — occasionally vehement — from influential persons in government, business, and academia, than to find sympathy with our positions.
Does this mean that we are wrong? Obviously, it does not, although of course it also does not mean that our conclusions are necessarily correct. The annals of history are replete with figures who struggled against the establishment until their iconoclastic ideas were finally proved correct, often posthumously. But there are doubtless many more persons lost to history whose unpopular ideas proved to be fallacious. So the unpopularity of our ideas does not signify anything about their correctness.
However, the fact that certain learned people are convinced we are wrong should lead us to carefully consider our positions and examine them for error.
Three particular principles are required for an effective examination of our positions. They are: 1) a dedication to the free exchange of information; 2) a desire for constructive dialogue with critics; and 3) a willingness to be wrong.
Of the three major types of organizations, Guardian, Commercial, and Information, CRN definitely is an Information-ethic organization. Our function is to produce information and publish it widely. Unlike Guardian institutions, we will attempt to be open about everything — hence a self-examining and revealing article such as this one — unless there is an overwhelming reason to keep something secret. Unlike Commercial institutions, Information organizations are not focused on money; we view money as simply a means to an end. Our motivating principles include building a solid reputation, being known according to our work, and being distinguished by our unique contributions.
CRN operates on the belief that an understanding of future technical possibilities will be vital in order to prepare for smooth adoption and responsible use of new technologies, and to allocate research attention and funding appropriately. Estimates of nanotechnology's ultimate potential, and the timeline and cost for development, vary widely, to say the least. But information is power; only through intensive studies can we ensure that the developers and the future administrators of this powerful capability have the tools they need to make the right decisions. A detailed understanding of molecular manufacturing technology is necessary to prepare for its eventual development.
So, we are dedicated to open exchange of information, we are motivated by the need for solid research to assist in the decision-making process, and we seek to understand opinions that differ from ours. We will admit when we are wrong and gladly will change our positions to something more clearly correct when that is indicated.
TO BE CONTINUED...