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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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Confirmation, Benediction, and Inquisition

Confirmation, Benediction, and Inquisition

(p.222) Chapter 7 Confirmation, Benediction, and Inquisition
The Visioneers

W. Patrick McCray

Princeton University Press

In the late 1980s, at least two different nanotechnologies emerged and then matured, sometimes in tandem but often in opposition, through the Clinton era. One was based on Drexler's vision of biomolecular machines; the other was rooted much more in chemistry, physics, and materials. By 2003, these two nanotechnologies had diverged from each other in a messy divorce. This left Drexler a pariah among some mainstream researchers who found his popularizing suspect and his ideas questionable. This chapter explores the interdependent relationship between these two technologies, peeling away some of the camouflage that obscures connections, common ground, and conflicts. It starts by looking is at some of the principal accomplishments that mainstream researchers claimed for the field they increasingly came to call nanotechnology.

Keywords:   nanotechnology, science, technology, K. Eric Drexler

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