NBIC Analysis and Debate
Since the publication of the 400+ page NBIC report in 2002, scientists, journalists, analysts and activists have all weighed in with disparate opinions about the purpose, the effects and the advisablity of the convergence of nano-, bio- , info- and cognitive sciences.
- The 24-page OVERVIEW: CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING HUMAN PERFORMANCE: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Cognitive Science (NBIC) by study leaders Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge presents a very optimistic view of the future:
"We stand at the threshold of a New Renaissance in science and technology, based on a comprehensive understanding of the structure and behavior of matter from the nanoscale up to the most complex system yet discovered, the human brain…"
- NBIC conferences in Hawaii in 2005, New York in 2004 and Los Angeles in 2003 have brought together scientists, technologists, ethicists and policy makers to expand the NBIC premise.
- James Hughes of the World Transumanist Association wrote of the political impact of the NBIC study:
The NBIC’s initial report stunned even the most optimistic techno-utopians with its predictions
of rapid human enhancement, life extension and nano-neural interfaces
in the coming decades. Turns out that when people on the cutting edge
of the molecular, information and cognitive sciences begin to talk
about merging their fields and applying them to extending the human
body and brain, things get very transhumanist very fast—nanobots or no
- In a comprehensive analysis, the social activists at the ETC Group call convergence the "Little BANG" and are skeptical:
A mix of Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes (B.A.N.G.) make
the world come ’round – for the USA!
USA, senior science policy makers and industry players are devising a new-style
‘Manhattan’ or ‘Apollo’ project to merge strategic technologies at the
nano-scale (one billionth of a meter)…