Creating Effective
Public Policy for
Managing Advanced
Nanotechnology
Mike Treder, Executive Director
Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
February 10, 2005
n
Expert Group Meeting on Nanotechnology
n
Trieste,
Introduction
From the Aide-Mémoire prepared for this
Expert Group Meeting:
“…in this moment there is no global effort to
promote awareness of the potential applications
of nanotechnology for development, to create
new regulatory regimes (or build upon existing
ones) for managing nanotechnology’s associated
risks and for promoting global public goods, to
provide a platform for constructive dialogue
among all stakeholders including representatives
from government, industry, academia and local
populations.”
My presentation will address this critical lack
and will propose some ameliorating strategies.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Overview
Consumer Products of Nanotechnology
 The future could hold more than just better tennis balls
Analysis of Molecular Manufacturing
 Capabilities, benefits, and risks
Three Systems of Action
 Different principles for different problems
Thirty Essential Studies
 Unfortunately, more questions than answers
NanoFora
 Encompassing a range of stakeholders
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Promises of Progress…
 Defeat poverty
 End starvation and disease
 Open up outer space
 Expand human capacities
 Lengthen our lifespans
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
…and Unprecedented Risks
 Environmental and health dangers
 Massive job displacement
 Economic and social disruption
 Constant intrusive surveillance
 Unstable arms race
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
This is Nanotechnology?
(According to Forbes)

High-Performance Ski Wax

Breathable Waterproof Ski Jacket

High-Tech Tennis Rackets And Balls

Deep-Penetrating Skin Cream

Wrinkle-Resistant, Stain-Repellent Threads
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology could be…
 Not just new products — a new means of
production
 Manufacturing systems that make more
manufacturing systems — exponential proliferation
 Vastly accelerated product improvement — cheap
rapid prototyping
 Affecting all industries and economic sectors —
general-purpose technology
 Inexpensive raw materials, potentially negligible
capital cost — economic discontinuity
 Impacts crossing borders — global transformation
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
The Feynman Vision
I want to build a billion tiny factories,
models of each other, which are
manufacturing simultaneously.
— Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
A Billion Tiny Factories
Inner Workings of a Desktop Nanofactory
Courtesy of John Burch, Lizard Fire Studios (3D Animation, Game Development)
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
The Nanofactory
 Integrate large numbers of nanoscale chemical fabrication units
 Combine nanoscale pieces into large-scale products
 General-purpose manufacturing in a tabletop format
 Extremely advanced products with compact functionality
 Produce its own weight in hours; produce copies of itself
“Design of a Primitive Nanofactory”
By Chris Phoenix
Director of Research, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
http://www.jetpress.org/volume13/Nanofactory.htm
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
The Nanofactory
Artist's Conception of a Desktop Nanofactory
Courtesy of John Burch, Lizard Fire Studios (3D Animation, Game Development)
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Developing a Nanofactory
Three milestones:
1 Basic molecular manufacturing: The precise formation
of molecular structures under direct mechanical control.
2 Exponential molecular manufacturing: The use of
nanoscale molecular manufacturing tools to build more of
themselves, making it possible to produce large quantities
of product.
3 Integrated molecular manufacturing: The integration of
tools into massively parallel structures, nanofactories,
that can combine their outputs into large products .
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Jolt to the System
The ability to build
anything we can design,
by manipulating
molecules under direct
computer control, will
be a jolt to the system.
Molecular Mill image courtesy of Eric Drexler
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Jolt to the System
The ability to build
anything we can design,
by manipulating
molecules under direct
computer control, will
be a jolt to the system.
Artist's Conception of a Desktop Nanofactory
Courtesy of John Burch, Lizard Fire Studios (3D Animation, Game Development)
A transformative, disruptive, discontinuous jolt to
ecological, economic, political, and social systems
— on a local, national, and global scale.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Change is Coming
The combined impacts of nanotechnology will equal the
Industrial Revolutions of the last two centuries — but
with all that change compressed into just a few years.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Societal Implications
 Rapid design, prototype, refinement
 Local manufacturing from local materials
 High-performance products
 Self-contained, automated factories
 Exponential manufacturing
 Factories become as cheap as any product
 Products become as cheap as raw materials
(…as cheap to build, not necessarily to buy…)
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Exponential Doubling
Length of Time for Nanofactory Proliferation
Based on conservative estimate of two-days doubling time
DAY
1
3
5
7
9
11
13
15
17
19
21
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
NANOFACTORIES
1
2
4
8
16
32
64
128
256
512
1,024 Thousand
Exponential Doubling
Length of Time for Nanofactory Proliferation
Based on conservative estimate of two-days doubling time
DAY
21
25
29
33
37
41
45
49
53
57
61
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
NANOFACTORIES
1,024 Thousand
4,096
16,384
65,536
262,144
1,048,576 Million
4,194,304
16,777,216
67,108,864
268,435,456
1,073,741,824 Billion
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
Lifesaving medical
robots
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
or
Untraceable weapons of
mass destruction
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
Lifesaving medical
robots
Networked computers for
everyone in the world
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
or
Untraceable weapons of
mass destruction
or
Networked cameras so
governments can watch
our every move
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
Lifesaving medical
robots
Networked computers for
everyone in the world
Trillions of dollars of
abundance
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
or
Untraceable weapons of
mass destruction
or
Networked cameras so
governments can watch
our every move
or
A vicious scramble to
own everything
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
Lifesaving medical
robots
Networked computers for
everyone in the world
Trillions of dollars of
abundance
Rapid invention of
wondrous products
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
or
Untraceable weapons of
mass destruction
or
Networked cameras so
governments can watch
our every move
or
A vicious scramble to
own everything
or
Weapons development fast enough
to destabilize any arms race
Benefits + Risks
An automated, self-contained factory could provide...
Lifesaving medical
robots
AND
Untraceable weapons of
mass destruction
AND
Networked cameras so
governments can watch
our every move
Trillions of dollars of
abundance
AND
A vicious scramble to
own everything
Rapid invention of
wondrous products
AND
Weapons development fast enough
to destabilize any arms race
Networked computers for
everyone in the world
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Earth on the Brink
Never before has the world faced
such a tremendous opportunity…
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Earth on the Brink
Never before has the world faced
such a tremendous opportunity…
…and never before
have the risks
been so great.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Overview
Consumer Products of Nanotechnology
 The future holds more than just better tennis balls
Analysis of Molecular Manufacturing
 Capabilities, benefits, and risks
Three Systems of Action
 Different principles for different problems
Thirty Essential Studies
 Unfortunately, more questions than answers
NanoFora
 Encompassing a range of stakeholders
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Systems of Action
"Guardian" Principles
Suitable for zero-sum or negative-sum situations
 Deceive for the sake of the task
 Respect hierarchy
 Take vengeance
 Be exclusive
 Shun trading
 Dispense largesse
 Exert prowess
 Be ostentatious
 Be fatalistic
 Make rich use of leisure
 Be obedient and disciplined
 Show fortitude
 Adhere to tradition
 Treasure honor
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Systems of Action
"Commercial" Principles
Suitable for positive-sum situations
 Be honest
 Collaborate easily with strangers
 Be thrifty
 Use initiative and enterprise
 Compete
 Be industrious
 Respect contracts
 Invest for productive purposes
 Shun force
 Be optimistic
 Promote comfort and convenience  Be efficient
 Be open to inventiveness
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
 Come to voluntary agreements
Forming Public Policy
Guardian Principles
Commercial Principles
To solve problems related to the
minimizing of harm (theft,
invasion)
To solve problems related to
maximizing wealth (trade,
invention)
Appropriate for governments
and police forces, organizations
that defend laws and land
Appropriate for business and
trade, which seek to increase
value to all parties involved
From Systems of Survival, by Jane Jacobs
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Systems of Action
Guardian
Principles
Commercial
Principles
Zero-sum or negative-sum Positive-sum situations
situations
GOAL: Maintain and
protect status quo
GOAL: Improve resource
use dynamically
Appropriate for
governments and police
forces, organizations that
defend laws and land
Appropriate for business
and trade, which seek to
increase value to all
parties involved
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
???
Unlimited-sum
situations
Systems of Action
Guardian
Principles
Commercial
Principles
Information
Principles
Zero-sum or negative-sum Positive-sum situations
situations
Unlimited-sum situations
GOAL: Maintain and
protect status quo
GOAL: Improve resource
use dynamically
GOAL: Spread innovation
generously
Appropriate for
governments and police
forces, organizations that
defend laws and land
Appropriate for business
and trade, which seek to
increase value to all
parties involved
Appropriate for the
production and copying of
freely shared information
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
(Creative Commons, Open
Source, Free Software)
Problems Ahead
 Information Principles now applied
not just to information, but to
physical products
 Substantial new security (Guardian)
issues
 Massively disruptive economic
(Commercial) impacts
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Worldwide Network
Molecular Manufacturing
Infrastructure
Guardians
Regulate usage
Commerce
Charge tolls
Information
Groups
Enhance infrastructure & products
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Worldwide Network
Molecular Manufacturing
Infrastructure
Guardians
Regulate usage
Commerce
Charge tolls
Information
Groups
Enhance infrastructure & products
(See www.crnano.org/systems.htm for more information)
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Nanofactory Control Options
DISTRIBUTION & ACCESS
TECHNICAL
RESTRICTIONS
Tight
Loose
Tight
Loose
- Intellectual property
violations
- Intellectual property
violations
- Manufacture of
dangerous products
- Manufacture of
dangerous products
- Makes black market
inevitable
- Removes incentive for
black market
- Prevents alleviation of
human suffering
- Allows alleviation of
human suffering
- Hinders creation of
prosperity
- Fosters creation of
unprecedented prosperity
- Makes black market
inevitable
- Reduces incentive for
black market
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
CRN’s Proposal
1. Create a Molecular Manufacturing
Infrastructure
 Worldwide network of restricted nanofactories
 Maximize benefits
 Minimize risks
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
CRN’s Proposal
2. Design Decision-Making Structure
In Advance
 Collaborative international administrative body
 Must have global scope
 Manage conflict
 Balance interests of all three “action” groups
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
What is Needed Now
 Awareness of the issues
 Technical research
 Policy research
 New networks
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Thirty Essential Studies
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Unanswered Questions
 Who will own the technology for molecular manufacturing?
 Will it be heavily restricted, or widely available?
 What will it do to the gap between rich and poor?
 What will be the impact of rapid advances in medical
research, diagnosis, and treatment?
How can dangerous weapons be controlled, and perilous
arms races be prevented?
 What happens to privacy when powerful surveillance
devices are smaller than a mosquito, just as mobile, and so
cheap that they are virtually everywhere?
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Thirty Essential Studies
Section 1: Technical and Foundational
Section 2: Capabilities of Molecular
Manufacturing Technologies
Section 3: Development of Molecular
Manufacturing Technologies
Section 4: Product Performance
Section 5: Policies and Policymaking
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
www.Wise-Nano.org
A collaborative project to study the facts and
implications of advanced nanotechnology —
a website for researchers worldwide to work together,
helping to build an understanding of the technologies,
their effects, and what to do about them.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Preparing Solutions
The challenges of nanotechnology will
have to be addressed by a diverse
collection of people and organizations.
No single approach will solve all problems
or address all needs.
Issues of multiple stakeholders and world
regions (North-South) must be represented.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Preparing Solutions
The only answer is a collective answer,
and that will demand an unprecedented
collaboration of leaders in science,
technology, business, government, and
NGOs.
It will require participation from people of
many nations, cultures, languages, and
belief systems.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
NanoFora
 Nanotechnology will affect a broad range of
stakeholders
 Individual and group goals are diverse and
possibly incompatible
 Bad policies may multiply rather than cancel bad
policy effects
 Evaluate and compare policy options from multiple
stakeholder group perspectives
 Create comprehensive and stable plans to
maximize benefits and minimize risks
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
NanoFora Project Structure
META
STAKEHOLDERS
Arms Control
& Geopolitics
Sustainable
Development
Medical Ethics
& Research
Social
Justice
Knowledge
Managemen
t
Ecological
Remediation
Business
& Trade
Surveillance
& Privacy
Policing &
Criminology
Intellectual
Property
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Mediation
Reporting
OVERVIEW
Values
System
Technology
NanoFora
Sound and effective decision-making
for nanotechnology public policy
A stable structure for finding policy
options that encompasses a range of
stakeholders and multiple systems of
action
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Summary
Consumer Products of Nanotechnology
 A revolution in manufacturing is coming
Analysis of Molecular Manufacturing
 Wonderful benefits and severe risks
Three Systems of Action
 Different principles for different problems
Thirty Essential Studies
 Many more questions than answers
NanoFora
 A project to engage stakeholder participation
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Building Bridges
We must develop common understanding,
create lines of communication, and build a
stable structure to bridge the cliffs and
pass safely through the transition into the
nano era.
© 2005 Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
www.CRNano.org
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