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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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Could Small Be Beautiful?

Could Small Be Beautiful?

(p.146) Chapter 5 Could Small Be Beautiful?
The Visioneers

W. Patrick McCray

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the growing interest in nanotechnology. As the excitement of the space program waned, new technological frontiers were found not beyond our planet but with the manipulation of matter at the smallest scales. Instead of imagining a future that started with settlements floating in the inky vacuum of space, this new future derived from manipulations of the cell's interior machinery and the integrated circuit's crystalline architecture. Scientists and engineers combined their increasing abilities to engineer organisms and devices with an interactive and interventionist approach to modifying the physical world in new and unexpected ways. Biotechnology and microelectronics provided a core foundation for activities that Drexler initially called “molecular engineering,” which later acquired the “nanotechnology” moniker.

Keywords:   nanotechnology, science, technology, biotechnology, microelectronics

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