The Foresight Institute held an event in Palo Alto earlier today, at which Josh Hall spoke in his new capacity as president of Foresight. He has been involved in molecular manufacturing for two decades; his accomplishments include founding the sci.nanotech newsgroup.
I expect Josh to bring a more technical and future-oriented focus back to Foresight, which for the past several years has (from my point of view) mainly been active in promoting stories about how good near-term nanoscale technologies can be. Nanoscale technologies are incremental steps away from familar technologies, and raise familiar issues; they are far less perilous than molecular manufacturing, which is why CRN has largely left them to other organizations.
It sounds like Foresight will be focusing on artificial intelligence as well as molecular manufacturing; Josh is an accomplished AI researcher. (And AI was a focus of Foresight back when it was founded; although it focused on molecular manufacturing, its mission was to address a variety of advanced technologies.) CRN won't have much to say about AI.
But I'll be watching closely to see how Foresight handles molecular manufacturing. Will Josh be able to redirect Foresight away from its current focus on "Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology" to address the negative implications as well? I asked him today about Foresight's earlier slogan, "Good for people, good for the planet," and he did not like it. So maybe Foresight will be moving toward a more balanced view of the perils as well as the promise of molecular manufacturing. If they don't, CRN will just have to do our best to balance the picture.