The mandate of the CRN Global Task Force is to thoroughly investigate the societal and environmental implications of advanced nanotechnology; to separate real from fictional; and to develop comprehensive, responsible, and workable recommendations.
We began last August with a few core people, including Jerry Glenn (Director of the AC/UNU Millennium Project), Nick Bostrom (Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University), David Brin (author of The Transparent Society), Robert A. Freitas Jr. (author of Nanomedicine), and Ray Kurzweil (CEO of Kurzweil Technologies).
Since then, the CRN Task Force (CTF) has grown to more than 60 people from five continents. We are continuing to add others with diverse backgrounds and points of view. Additional experts in geopolitics, economics, ethics, ecology, and international policy formation will be recruited. Without mutual understanding and cooperation on a global level, the hazardous potentials of advanced nanotechnology could spiral out of control and deny any hope of realizing the benefits to society.
Of course, reaching conclusions will not be a quick process. Our plan from the beginning has been to concentrate first on defining the challenge: What risks do we really face? How do they relate to each other? What is most important to know in order to design wise and effective policies for molecular manufacturing?
The early work of the CRN Task Force has underscored the conviction of CRN that there are no simple answers or simple solutions.
For their initial project, the CTF chose to generate a range of independent essays identifying and defining specific concerns. Last month, the first 11 essays were published in the Nanotechnology Perceptions academic journal and were posted online at the Wise-Nano.org web site and at KurzweilAI.net. In the second week of May, we'll have a second group of 11 essays published in the same places. More on that as we get closer...