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1780Re: FT Article

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  • dgallis@syr.edu
    May 2, 2001
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      > It is Press. By definition, whatever it says, it ought to be ignored.
      > I very much doubt it defines the policy.

      I couldn't agree more. To define the birth of nanotechnology as a
      product of buckminsterfullerene and buckytubes is to do a great
      disservice to those out there doing cutting edge research with the X-
      to-the-N number of other macromolecular systems out there. I consider
      this kind of "grossly overgeneralized" public information dissemination
      disheartening, and I would have hoped Fiona Harvey had done a little
      more homework. May I ask where Feynmann was in any of this? I mean,
      if you're going to popularize it in a magazine with little-to-nothing
      to do with the topic, you might as well at least try to hit all of the
      important names that the public might recognize!

      What really kills me is that some of the diligent readers of the
      Financial Times, who might never otherwise read about any of this,
      might walk away with the oh-so-dangerous "and here's what nanotech is,
      everyone!" All of our work and all the money being spent so some
      writer can shrink it down into a digestible tidbit. I get the same
      reaction to seeing those 2 minute special reports on the nightly news.

      ... and don't even get me started on the Drexler sections of the
      article. His work might be way, way, WAY ahead of what we can do
      nowadays, but we're all nothing more than statistical bags of proteins
      and water right now, existing (and then some) in our own little "green
      goo" model. (..stepping on my soapbox...) I don't think the chemical
      community (being a member of that community myself) has really caught
      onto nanotech yet quite the same way engineers have, and I think part
      of that has to do with the nanotech mentality that things need to be
      built instead of synthesized. Once chemists start looking en masse at
      the problems of macromolecular design approaching even some of the
      simple designs and strategies the "out there" theorists are proposing,
      I think there's going to be another major chemical revolution. I
      consider Josef Michl's "molecular building block" approach far more
      interesting and, currently, much more flexible than nanotubes for
      almost everything people are proposing. Does anyone else see that day
      when "nanotube assemblies" are going to be "too big," and people are
      going to have to start really examining molecular-based designs?
      (...stepping down..)

      Once again, the more popular aspects of a field have been taken
      completely out of context and heralded as the only way to get things
      done to those without the background (or care) to do further research
      and know what's really going on. If we told 10,000 scientists that the
      Financial Times was only about "following the stock market numbers you
      can get from NYSE.com", I'm sure the editors would be extremely put
      off.

      Damian Allis
      Graduate Fellow, Syracuse University

      "A real hologram! I mean not real but almost a real hologram."
      Frank Zappa
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