Give Us Ten Minutes and Will Give You the Nano World

Anyone who has lived in New York City and tuned into the local AM radio news has probably heard the 1010 WINSâ'' slogan, â''Give us 10 minutes and will give you the world.â''

Since I am an ex-New York resident, that phrase occurred to me as I watched Andrew Maynardâ''s distillation of years of nanotech presentations into one 10-minute-long video. Only in this case, you might say he is giving us the â''nano worldâ''.

The video probably does a better job of sorting out the benefits and risks of nanotech than the ponderous grandstanding of last yearâ''s PBS special â''Power of Small: Nanotechnologyâ''.

I am not damning with faint praise here, although at the beginning I was a bit worried with another nanotechnology definition. His illustrative analogies are strong and clarifying, and he comes to the crux of many issues surrounding nanotech that I think will be helpful for many in getting a better understanding of nanotechnology.

However, it is in the direction that we must go when we are that crossroads moment that left me a bit wanting. Maynard comes to the conclusion that nanotechnology has the potential for accomplishing many beneficial results for man: clean drinking water, better medicine to combat disease, renewable energy, etc. But he admonishes, â''We need to get it right.â''

Well, I am sure everyone agrees that it is better to get it right, then, say, get it wrong. But how are we supposed to know if we are getting it right?

I understand that the video is just a â''primerâ'', but perhaps in 30 seconds he could add some suggestion(s) on how to get it right without ensuring that nanotechnology's development is stopped dead in its tracks.


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