Converging technologies, shifting boundaries

Tsjalling Swierstra, Marianne Boenink, Bart Walhout, R. van Est

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

At the beginning of the 21 century, most people are no longer surprised by technological revolutions. The twentieth century brought us information technology and biotechnology: key technologies for pioneering innovations such as the computer, the Internet and genetically modified plants. In the transition to the twenty-first century, two other important developments: nanotechnology (the research and design of materials at the smallest level possible) and cognitive science came along too.

But that will not be the end of it if we are to believe the National Science Foundation (NSF). At the end of 2002, Roco and Bainbridge, the organizers of the workshop ‘Converging Technologies: Improving Human Performance’ did not just announce the next revolution in science and technology, but a whole new era, a New Renaissance [4]. In their view, the boundaries between nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and the cognitive sciences (NBIC) will disappear and this will open up the way for an unprecedented holistic concept of what it means to be human, ranging from the way the tiniest components in our cells interrelate to the way we think and feel. In the twenty-first century, according to their prophecy, human beings will be able to improve themselves radically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-216
Number of pages4
JournalNanoEthics
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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