The September, 2001 Scientific American is a special issue devoted to nanotechnology. Many of the articles can be found at


Welcome to NanoEffectTM. It may seem premature to some to discuss the effects of a technology that is not yet fully developed. Normally we do not begin to discuss the effects of new technologies until after they have been fully developed and widely deployed. A few recent examples include nuclear weapons and energy, synthetic chemicals, and genetically engineered food. Many enjoy the benefits of these technologies, but all are accompanied by negative, sometimes unintended, effects. The downside of waiting is that while we debate, discuss, and try to "plug the end of the pipe," we must live with the potentially irreversible negative effects whatever they may be. This is our chance to discuss the effects publicly BEFORE they are felt so that we may enjoy the fruits of these technologies while gaining the wisdom to avoid their unintended consequences.

Bill Joy first brought the issue of the negative effects of nanotechnology to broad attention in his Wired Magazine article, Why the Future Doesn't Need Us (April 2000). The Ecologist (October 2000) follows up on this article with an interview with Bill Joy. Unfortunately, this interview is not online.


To the right I have provided links to some books on the subject. Also, you can enter your email address and join the NanoEffect-L discussion group. Below you will find links to various websites, articles, and online books.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them to me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Michael R. Meuser,
Environmental Sociologist
(Check here for more about Meuser.)

Links, News and More


  • (November 24, 2000) Tiny twirls: Nanotechnologists bolt metal propellers onto biomolecular motors, making hybrid machines smaller than a virus ... More
From the White House:
  • Newly Released NSTC Reports Provide A Coherent Vision For The Future of Nanotechnology Research & Development ... More

Bill Joy's Wired agazine article (04/2000), Why the Future Doesn't Need Us ... More

Why the future needs Bill Joy: A Response to Bill Joy�s Why the future doesn�t need us ... More

Sun Microsystem co-founder Bill Joy named to White House Advisory Committee on High-Performance Computing ... More

Bill Joy's Bio ... More

Engines of Creation The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by K. Eric Drexler (free online) ... More

Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution by K. Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson (free online) ... More

Regulating Nanotechnology Development by David Forrest ... More

Sources of further information about nanotechnology ... More

NanoLink - Key Nanotechnology Sites on the Web ... More

Nanodot - news and discussions of coming technologies ... More

Molecular Manufacturing Shortcut Group A Chapter of the National Space Society ... More

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing ... More

Nanotechnologies Industries ... More

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The Ingenuity Gap: How Will We Solve the Problems of the Future by Thomas F. Homer-Dixon. Review.

Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by Eric Drexler.

Nanotechnology by Gregory Timp (Editor).

Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance by BC Crandall (Editor).

The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology by Langdon Winner.

Democracy and Technology by Richard Sclove.

Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate About Machines, Systems and the Human World by Richard Rhodes (Editor).

The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction by John Leslie.

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computer Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil.

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind by Hans P. Moravec.

Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century by Michio Kaku.

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