Re: NANO: Skeptical MIT Tech Review Interview

Kathryn Aegis (
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 07:01:47 -0800 (PST)

Doug Bailey:
> Again, we see skeptics who should know better basically saying certain
> technological accomplishments are impossible without any firm theoretical
> substantiation for such a finding.

Why so quick to label any sort of critique of nanotech as uninformed skepticism? I think that a healthy dose of skepticism (and Whitesides seems to have quite a background to conduct such a critique) will help keep nano enthusiasts focused on just what can realistically be accomplished. I see nothing in the quotes you provided that indicates that Whitesides considers nano applications to be 'impossible'--I doubt that he would have expended so much time in reviewing a technology that had no hint of potential success.

We can't have it both ways--we set ourselves up as skeptics to provide critiques on religion and bogus science, but then turn and scream at anyone who dares to suggest that every nano pipe dream won't come true. I welcome essays like Whitesides and hope to read more like them, because if nano is to gain any credibility it must first survive such scrutiny.


Kathryn Aegis