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K. Eric DrexlerK. ERIC DREXLER


NYS Writers Institute, May 6, 2013
8:00 p.m. Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
, Uptown campus

K. Eric Drexler, “founding father” of nanotechnology, will discuss his new book, Radical Abundance (2013), about the ways in which nanotechnology will transform material civilization in the near future, Monday, May 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the UAlbany uptown campus. Cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the event is free and open to the public.

Hailed as nanotechnology’s “founding father,” K. Eric Drexler received the first Ph.D. in the field (at MIT), taught the first nanoscience course, and chaired the first two conferences on the subject. His 1981 paper, “Molecular engineering,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, established fundamental principles of molecular design, protein engineering, and productive nanosystems.

Radical AbundanceDrexler’s newest book, his first in twenty years, is Radical Abundance: How an Inevitable Revolution in the Material Foundations of Civilization Will Transform the Future (2013). Kirkus Reviews called it, “A crackerjack piece of science and technology writing…. A stimulating tour through current thinking about and future possibilities for nanotechnology, from one of its creators.” The book is also the subject of an in-depth interview with Drexler in the February 26, 2013 issue of Forbes magazine, entitled “Nanotechnology’s Revolutionary Next Phase.”

Written for a general audience, Radical Abundance explores the emerging technology of “atomically precise manufacturing,” and explains how it will create a potentially endless supply of raw materials, ending scarcity as we know it. Drexler argues that many technological projects that have heretofore been considered prohibitively expensive, including space exploration and the prolonged extension of human life, will soon be made affordable. He also examines the earth-shaking consequences of “radical abundance” for traditional economic and political systems.

K. Eric DrexlerThe book is due to be published on May 7, 2013, and Drexler’s appearance in Albany on the preceding day will be the very first date of his U.S. book tour. He will be flying in from the United Kingdom, where he currently serves as visiting professor at Oxford University’s “Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology.”

In 1986, Drexler published the extremely influential book, written for a popular audience, Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, with a foreword by artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky. Though many of Drexler’s assertions and predictions provoked (and still provoke) controversy within the scientific community, he is widely credited with inspiring a generation of scientists to investigate the potential of nanoscience, and with attracting attention to the field in society at large.

Drexler’s second book, Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (1992), a physics-based analysis, received the Association of American Publishers award for Most Outstanding Computer Science Book.

Drexler recently served as Chief Technical Consultant to the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, a project of the Battelle Memorial Institute (the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, which manages or co-manages several major national laboratories for the U. S. Department of Energy). He is currently working in a collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to explore nanotechnology-based solutions to global problems such as energy and climate change.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.