Eric Drexler’s new book: Radical Abundance – How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization
(Nanowerk News) “Imaging what the world might be like if we were really good at making things—better things—cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale.…The global prospect would be, not scarcity, but unprecedented abundance—radical, transformative, and sustainable abundance. We would be able to produce radically more of what people want and at a radically lower cost—in every sense of the word, both economic and environmental. “What if industrial production as we know it can be changed beyond recognition? The consequences would change almost everything else, and this new industrial revolution is visible on the horizon. Imagine a world where the gadgets and goods that run our society are produced not in a far-flung supply chain of industrial facilities, but in compact, even desktop-scale machines. Imagine replacing an enormous automobile factory and all of its multi-million dollar equipment with a garage-sized facility that can assemble cars from inexpensive, microscopic parts, with production times measured in minutes. Then imagine that the technologies that can make these visions real are emerging—under many names, behind the scenes, with a long road still ahead, yet moving surprisingly fast…” (K. Eric Drexler, from the introduction of Radical Abundance) K. Eric Drexler developed, named, and popularized the concept of nanotechnology—the science of engineering on the molecular level. In his eagerly-anticipated new book: Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology will Change Civilization, Drexler shows how rapid scientific progress in this field is about to transform our world. Already scientists have constructed prototypes for circuit boards built of millions of precisely-arranged atoms. The advent of this kind of atomic precision promises to change the way we make things—and enables us to do so cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale. It allows us to imagine a world where formerly costly products like solar arrays and laptops cost no more than cardboard and aluminum foil. The results of these changes will shake the very foundations of our economy and environment. In Radical Abundance, Drexler explores the dazzling possibilities of this brave new world and guides us through the current and future landscape of nanotechnology. Topics include:
- The nature of science and engineering, and the prospects for a deep transformation in the material basis of civilization
- The technologies of radical abundance, what they are, and what they will enable
- His personal narrative of the emergence of the molecular nanotechnology concept and the turbulent history of progress and politics that followed
- Solutions for problems of economic development, energy, resource depletion, and the environment
- Potential pitfalls in competitive national strategies in nanotechnology development and his vision for shared interests in risk reduction and cooperative transition management
- A provocative tour of cutting-edge science and its implications by the field’s founder and master, Radical Abundance offers a mind-expanding vision of a world hurtling toward an unexpected future.
K. Eric Drexler is the author of Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology , the first book to bring the concept of nanotechnology to the attention of a broad audience. Currently at the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology at Oxford University, Drexler is a frequent public speaker on scientific issues, addressing audiences of politicians, business leaders, scientists, and engineers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.