Nano and NatSec
Lunch is over, and the current speaker is Calvin Shipbaugh, whom the program describes as being formerly with RAND. He's speaking on the national security aspect of nano, describing Pentagon investment in nano, among other things (abstract here.) It's an enormously interesting subject, but it's unfortunate that he's the only speaker discussing it, since it's so very broad and he only has half an hour. I won't try to summarize his talk here, because I wouldn't be able to keep up, but I'll try to get up a few of his slides. This subject alone could dominate a three-day conference. He's gone from funding to putting microchips on bees to increasing surveillance to protecting soldiers to "overcoming the limits of triage" to the Beslan school siege to the the ethics and "dark aspects that must be proactively managed."
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the slides turned out terribly blurry; the exposure time was set too long, sorry. But here are two that are, um, less illegible. If you click on them, you can enlarge them to a size at which you should be able to make out the words. The first shows current Pentagon areas of interest in nanotechnology (broken up among the different military branches) and the second is a list of some of the security areas where nanotech might have an effect in coming years. (Nothing mentioned about nanorobots -- or even ordinary robots.)
There wasn't much time for questions, but one guy did ask Shipbaugh about how nanotech may affect existing arms control treaties. Shipbaugh had nothing to say, for the very good reason that there is nothing to say about it.
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