Business Articles on Nanotechnology Take on a Familiar Formula

Mainstream nanotech business articles from today read almost exactly like those from 2001

1 min read

I am simultaneously amazed and concerned when I read mainstream publications tackle the issue of business and nanotechnology. Last month we had the NY Times informing us that things were looking up for the commercialization of nanotech because it seemed industry and academic research centers were beginning to team up. What a novel idea.

Of course, this penetrating analysis followed the Grey Lady’s previous prediction over 18 months earlier that nanotech was going to finally experience its long-awaited boom with a series of IPOs…that never came.

But the latest bit of business journalism I’ve read on nanotech comes from one of the NY Times’ subsidiary publications, the Boston Globe. What is fascinating about this one is how it reads like a “Mad Lib” for nanotech articles formulated in 2001.

We get insights like the nanotechnology market in 2015 will be worth (fill in blank with number) trillion. Then they even find ways to throw in all the favored terms used in 2001, like “nanobots” or size definitions such as a “nanometer, equal to one-billionth of a meter”.

So, why am I am amazed and concerned at the same time? I am amazed because we can read articles that manage to be repeating articles written from nearly a decade before, or have such a flimsy grasp of the mechanisms of commercializing emerging technologies that they believe industry/lab partnerships are actually an innovative idea. And I am also concerned because I read business articles from publications like this on topics that I know far less about than nanotech, should I be worried? I think maybe, yes.

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The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.

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The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

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