Mihail Roco, conference co-chairman and primary NSF supporter of the NBIC initiative gave a 10,000 ft. overview of the past two years of work around NBIC. Having been the key architect behind the National Nanotechnology Initiative and having helped its research budget grow from $116m in 1997 to $700M in 2003, Mike is now looking to do the same with NBIC.
Mike's vision is right on target. He constantly cajoles speakers and participants to think about the social implications of bleeding-edge technology, while also attempting to keep everyone focused on the goal of enhancing human performance. His five areas of interest:
Expanding human cognition and communication
Improving human health and physical capabilities
Enhancing group and societal outcomes
Unifying science and education
Philip Bond gave a thoughtful, truthful and inspiring lunch-time talk on the value of honest communication with government representatives. Calling on NBIC experts to fly to D.C. to share their views on the importance and reality of NBIC, he sketched a realistic portrait of the US body politic.
Most insightful comment: "When the horse-less carriage was invented, the City of San Francisco required that users park outside of city limits and ride a horse the rest of the way." He knows his political economic history and our political reality.
On a personal note, Philip suggested that he is starting to feel that it would be nice to have a cognitive enhancer focused on helping him remember people's names, but the truth is that if you are as caring a politician as he is, you'd have to remember quite a few names. Sometimes people underestimate what they do.
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