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The VisioneersHow a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future$
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W. Patrick McCray

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176291

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176291.001.0001

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(p.113) Chapter 4 Omnificent
The Visioneers

W. Patrick McCray

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the resurgence of interest in science and technology in the 1970s. Magazines like Omni helped shift public interest and attention to impressive developments happening, not in outer space, but at the levels of the gene, the molecule, and the microcircuit. This eventually helped foster ambitions for a new technological future to be realized by controlling and manipulating matter at the level of billionths of a meter—the nanoscale. To be sure, O'Neill and his space-oriented visioneering did not suddenly fade away. O'Neill-inspired groups like the L5 Society had started by diligently advocating space as a place that adventurous citizens might one day inhabit. But, by the early 1980s, this goal began to seem more unattainable than ever, and many initial enthusiasts abandoned their utopian aspirations.

Keywords:   science, technology, Omni magazine, nanotechnology

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