1 Ruth Seeley January 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

I think the Citizens’ Briefing Book is a brilliant idea although I might quibble with the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology’s wording and perhaps, even with its priorities: http://crnano.typepad.com/crnblog/2009/01/our-message-for-president-obama.html.

It may be sad that it’s taken us till almost the end of the first decade of the 21st Century to get with crowd sourcing, create virtual teams, and adopt best practices no matter where they originate, to learn to co-operate rather than to compete. I’m hoping it’s a case of better late than never. And while this may seem off-topic, the approach Richard Jones advocates would mean we didn’t end up ‘shopping the perimeters of the grocery store’ – a ludicrous but necessary practice if you want to eat well (or even properly) – and yet so beside the point of the supermarket to begin with. (Am I making sense here? Trying to say that if we continue to invent things just because we can, we won’t necessarily end up with the things we need to sustain, improve, and perhaps even extend life of sufficient quality that it’s worth living.)

2 Andrew Maynard January 16, 2009 at 11:56 am

Ruth,

am totally with you on the danger of inventing things just because we can – this is a danger of top-down driven science and technology, but I suspect it is also a trap that community-driven S&T could fall in to. Crowds are pretty good at making poor decisions, as well as good ones!

Andrew

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