3 Nanotechnology:

From Feynman to Funding


K. Eric Drexler

The revolutionary Feynman vision of a powerful and general nanotechnology – based on nanomachines that build with atom-by-atom control – promises great opportunities and, if abused, great dangers. This vision made ‘nanotechnology’ a buzzword and launched the global nanotechnology race. Along the way, however, the meaning of the word had shifted. A vastly broadened definition of ‘nanotechnology’ (including any technology with nanoscale features) enabled specialists from diverse fields to infuse unrelated research with the Feynman mystique. The resulting nanoscale-technology funding coalition has obscured the Feynman vision, misunderstanding its basis, distrusting its promise, ...

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