A Future of Radical Abundance:
Dr. Eric Drexler
Oxford Martin Programme on
the Impacts of Future Technology
University of Oxford
November 20, 2013
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only $3.25 total
Oxford Martin Programme
on the Impacts
of Future Technology
University of Oxford
Often described as “the founding father of nanotechnology”, Eric Drexler introduced the concept in his seminal 1981 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which established fundamental principles of molecular engineering and outlined development paths to advanced nanotechnologies. In his 1986 book, Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, he introduced a broad audience to the fundamental technology objective: using machines that work at the molecular scale to structure matter from the bottom up. Drexler’s research has been the basis for numerous journal articles and a comprehensive, physics-based analysis in Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation. In his publications and lectures, Dr. Drexler describes the implementation and applications of advanced nanotechnologies and shows how they can be used solve, not merely delay, large-scale problems such as global warming.
Dr. Drexler served as Chief Technical Consultant to the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, a project of the Battelle Memorial Institute, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Brookhaven National Laboratories, and as Chief Technical Advisor to Nanorex, in developing open-source design software for structural DNA nanotechnologies. He has worked in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to explore nanotechnology-based solutions to global problems such as energy and climate change. Drexler is currently an Academic Visitor at Oxford University.
Drexler was awarded a PhD in Molecular Nanotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the first degree of its kind).
What if we were really good at making things—better products of all kinds—in a clean way, at a very low cost, and on a global scale?
What if today’s industrial and energy infrastructure could be replaced with clean, zero-carbon emission technologies at a rapid pace?
The result would be a profound revolution in the material basis of our civilization and radically different prospects for the 21st century. A technology of this scope and power is visible in the distance today, not close, but accessible through a series of advances in nanotechnology and the molecular sciences. By merging digital and manufacturing principles at the molecular scale, atomically precise manufacturing can transform our world. It’s time to expand the horizons of our conversation about the future.