Drexler, Kim Eric (rus. Дрекслер, Эрик) — an American engineer, active promoter of nanotechnology, retired from the public scene in the late nineties.

Description

Eric Drexler was born in 1955. He started developing the ideas of molecular nanotechnologies in the late 1970s. Building on the provocative arguments of Richard Feynman, in 1986 Drexler published his book "Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology". In the book he unconsciously borrowed the term "nanotechnology", coined by the Japanese physicist Norio Taniguchi, to describe nanoscale assemblers that can build copies of themselves and other mechanisms of a set complexity. In the book he also talks about the invasion of "gray goo" to describe what might happen if self-replicating nanorobots went out of control.

The thesis that he defended in 1991 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was then reworked into his book "Nanosystems. Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing and Computation". It received the Association of American Publishers award for Best Computer Science Book of 1992.

In 1986 Drexler and his wife Christine Peterson founded the Foresight Institute with the mission of "preparing for nanotechnology." In 2002 he left the organisation.

In addition to teaching and managing the Foresight Institute, Drexler speaks at many seminars and conferences, and participates in some loud debates on the future of nanotechnology in terms of their practical use and the dangers of the "gray goo". Richard Smalley and other scientists and engineers have publicly criticised the Drexler‘s arguments for being unrealistic. In the late 1990s, Drexler disappeared from the public scene and is no longer involved in the projects of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, whose acceptance by society was, to a great extent, prepared by him.

Illustrations

Eric Drexler.
Eric Drexler.

Authors

  • Popov Mikhail E.
  • Zaitsev Dmitry D.

Sources

  1. K. Eric Drexler // Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._Eric_Drexler (reference date: 12.12.2011).
  2. Grey goo // Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo (reference date: 12.12.2011). The Foresight Institute. — www.foresight.org (reference date: 12.12.2011).

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