March 25, 2004

It Will, It Won't: The MNT Debate Rumbles On

Despite the US Government Nanotechnology Bill sidestepping the entire issue of molecular nanotechnology, as previously discussed, supporters of MNT still seem to have public opinion on their side. After all, as the writer of this piece in US News says, "it all sounds pretty cool." While the reality is that MNT is much further away than some of the less "cool" applications, such as concrete, plastics, ink etc, the tendency to dismiss it as science fiction does nanotechnology a disservice. Many of the more fanciful applications of MNT are in the realm of science fiction, but that does not make it impossible per se. Our definition of 'impossible' has always been redefined by technical advances.

That doesn't however mean that we should merrily accept everything that proponents of MNT are putting our way. Out of the entire realm of science fiction, only a few of the myriad ideas have come to fruition, let's not confuse science fiction with science. While Jules Verne and HG Wells may have popularised the idea of manned lunar exploration, there was a host of major technical differences between Apollo 11 and the capsule that Verne proposed firing out of a giant cannon.

Posted by Cientifica at March 25, 2004 09:41 AM | TrackBack
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