The Foresight Institute has an online address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CompuServe users can reach us by sending mail addressed to: >INTERNET:email@example.com.
There is also an electronic discussion group on nanotechnology called sci.nanotech
on the USENET computer network; we have been told it has 24,000 readers.
It can be reached by members of the general public who subscribe to a commercial
service such as Portal, the service we use. Portal can be reached by calling
408-973-9111, or sign on automatically by having your modem dial 415-725-0561.
Another service, the WELL, also carries sci.nanotech; they can be reached
at 415-332-4335 (voice) or 415-332-6106 (data). Both Portal and the WELL
are based in the San Francisco Bay Area but are accessible to those outside
the area. If similar services exist in your local calling area, it may be
less expensive to use them instead of the services described here.
We can also be reached by sending mail on the American Information Exchange
to Foresight, with a forwarded copy to ChrisPeterson.
Other Foresight organizations can be reached as follows: Institute
for Molecular Manufacturing at firstname.lastname@example.org; Center for Constitutional
Issues in Technology at email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you online.
[Editor's note:The above contact information is largely
out of date. Instead use: Foresight Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Institute for Molecular Manufacturing: email@example.com.]
At the recent International Space Development Conference, hosted by the
National Space Society, Tom McKendree was elected president of the Molecular
Manufacturing Shortcut Group. This NSS chapter focuses on nanotechnology
and molecular manufacturing as the leading technology enabling space development,
access to space resources, and the development of human communities in space.
For more information on the group, please write to NSS Molecular Manufacturing
Shortcut Group, c/o Tom McKendree, 12171 Amethyst Circle, Garden Grove,
[Editor's note:The current mailing address is:
Molecular Manufacturing Shortcut Group, 8381 Castilian Drive, Huntington
Beach, CA 92646.]
Neil Jacobstein, Vice President and General Manager of the Knowledge Systems
Division of Cimflex Teknowledge Corporation, has joined the Board of Directors
of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. Mr. Jacobstein brings extensive
experience in the industrial research community, particularly in advanced
manufacturing. He has managed and participated in the development of knowledge
system technology projects sponsored by a wide range of corporate and government
clients, including the National Science Foundation, GM, Ford, Motorola,
FMC, NCR, Procter and Gamble, DARPA, and the U.S. Air Force.
He also has a background in studies related to the environment which, combined
with his manufacturing and software experience, is expected to assist IMM
in its efforts to further research in environmentally-benign molecular manufacturing
and nanotechnology. His addition strengthens both the expertise and vision
of the Board.
Also new at IMM is Executive Director Kathleen Shatter, whose predecessor
Lynne Stiegler, née Morrill, left to pursue an advanced degree. Ms.
Shatter brings experience in nonprofit funding development and event organization.
She is also familiar with the nanotechnology-oriented business community
from her work on the Second Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology,
for which she secured substantial corporate sponsorship. In addition to
her duties at IMM, she will be assisting Foresight with conferences and
Information can be obtained by writing to IMM at 555 Bryant Street, Suite
253, Palo Alto, California, 94301; by calling 415-852-1244; by sending a
fax to 415-852-9098; or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Editor's note:The above phone numbers and email address
are out of date. Instead use:
tel. 415-917-1120; fax. 415-917-1123; email: email@example.com.]
Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines. Doron Swade, 1991,
Science Museum, London, 48 pages, softcover, £3.50.
An engrossing exposition of early efforts to build mechanical computers:
how Babbage came so close to succeeding and why he failed. Explores the
difficulties of exploratory engineering. Heavily illustrated. [Editor's
note: one of Babbage's machines was recently built and shown to work as
designed, with the technology then available.]
The Molecular Design of Life. Lubert Stryer, 1989, W.
H. Freeman and Company, New York, 215 pages, hardcover, $14.95.
This superbly illustrated book provides an excellent overview, in molecular
terms, of biochemistry, recombinant DNA, proteins, and the intriguing interactions
among these as a foundation for those systems that are regarded as "living."
The book's emphasis on visual explanations and informative sidebars make
the content accessible to a wide range of readers without requiring specialized
knowledge of biochemistry.
Stryer covers the basics of protein structure and function, explains DNA
and RNA as information molecules yielding heredity, and then provides a
clearly understandable description of genes and enzymes, and the roles of
these key structures in molecular systems.
Overall, this work is meant for the interested layperson, but the technical
reader will find sufficient tabular data, explanatory images, and concise
descriptions as well.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.
Peter M. Senge, 1990, Doubleday Currency, New York, 424 pages, hardcover,
Senge presents a book that is both descriptive of American business organizations
and prescriptive for successful leadership within them. The book's central
focus is on organizational aspects that either enable or inhibit learning
for the individual and, more important, the organization as a whole. He
advocates that leaders learn that they are not, in an organizational sense,
prisoners of the system but instead are prisoners of their own thinking
This book invites the reader to adopt a perspective of what sociologists
term "the social construction of reality," in which individuals
and departments operating in an organizational context learn to identify
the patterns of behavior that control human events. Given this knowledge,
leadership becomes an activity of creating shared visions, team learning,
and the communication of effective mental models.
Senge's work is clearly written and presents many engaging examples without
becoming ponderous as a case-history tome. This book should be required
reading for everyone in a position of managerial responsibility or who has
any interest in organizations. It provides all readers with keen insight
in their own situations and how to improve the organizations in which they
work, play, and participate, as well as "learning how to learn"
in an organizational context. Highly recommended.
This fall Wiley Interscience will publish the first technical book on molecular
nanotechnology, entitled Nanosystems: Molecular Machines, Manufacturing
and Computation by K. Eric Drexler. While the book is written for
the graduate or advanced undergraduate level, and assumes substantial knowledge
of physics and math, the interested lay reader will be able to learn from
many of the approximately 200 illustrations.
The book will be published simultaneously in both hardcover and softcover
editions. The softcover edition is likely to be priced under $25, affordable
even for student readers. Currently the official publication date is set
for October, although Wiley hopes to have copies available one or two months
Readers will be taken from the basic principles governing nanoscale phenomena,
through macroscale nanoengineered systems, research pathways, and development
timescale considerations. Nanosystems can serve as a nanotechnology
textbook for students in a wide variety disciplines as well as an introduction
and working tool for professionals who are already in or would like to be
in the field.
In honor of its 60th anniversary, the Journal of the British Interplanetary
Society is dedicating the opening issue of its Celebration Series
to the topic "Nanotechnology in Space." JBIS is known
for publishing exploratory engineering work on space development and exploration.
The issue is scheduled for October 1992 and will be edited by Salvatore
Santoli. Dr. Santoli reports that he plans to interpret the term nanotechnology
as Foresight does, i.e. molecular nanotechnology, or thorough control of
the structure of matter.
Autodesk, Inc., of Sausalito,
California, has awarded an educational grant to Foresight Institute that
includes three of its leading software products: the newly released HyperChem,
Animator Pro and 3D Studio. Foresight will use
the Autodesk software to develop visualizations of nanomechanical devices
using HyperChem and create visualizations of nanotechnology
and molecular manufacturing using Animator Pro and 3D
Studio. We appreciate Autodesk's award and their continuing support
of pathways leading to nanotechnology as represented by software for designing
molecular manufacturing devices. Thank you, Autodesk.
Foresight would like to express our appreciation to many individuals not
mentioned elsewhere in this issue. Special thanks to Ron Edquist for his
regular online searches, to Ted Kaehler for financial assistance for the
July 11 regional meeting, to Carol Shaw for ongoing bookkeeping help, to
Russ Mills for his Update column and layout work, to Ed Niehaus
for press relations assistance, and to Gayle Pergamit for human resource
advice. Thanks to Bob Schumaker and Jeff Crilly for help with sending to
large email lists. Thanks to Glenn Reynolds, Scott Pace, Margaret Jordan,
Tim Kyger, and Danica Remy for help with Eric Drexler's Senate testimony.
Thanks to Joy Martin for her presentation on nanotechnology. Thanks to the
following for sending articles: Jon Alexandr, Joe Bonaventura, Marshall
Burns, John J. Closner, William Drake, Donald Fears, Tim Freeman, W.C. Gaines,
John Gilmore, Roger Gregory, Graham Houston, Jeffrey Liss, Ralph Merkle,
John Primiani, Edward Rietman, Bill Schertz, A. Tsoularis.
Finally, special thanks from the Foresight Board go (as always) to our Executive
Director, Jamie Dinkelacker, and (the first time) to our new Project Manager,