By W. Patrick McCray
In 1969, Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill begun taking a look outward to area colonies because the new frontier for humanity's enlargement. A decade later, Eric Drexler, an MIT-trained engineer, became his recognition to the molecular global because the position the place society's destiny wishes might be met utilizing self-replicating nanoscale machines. those glossy utopians anticipated that their applied sciences may perhaps remodel society as people mastered the power to create new worlds, undertook atomic-scale engineering, and, if really winning, overcame their very own organic limits. The Visioneers tells the tale of ways those scientists and the groups they fostered imagined, designed, and popularized speculative applied sciences akin to area colonies and nanotechnologies.
Patrick McCray strains how those visioneers combined countercultural beliefs with demanding technological know-how, entrepreneurship, libertarianism, and unbridled optimism in regards to the destiny. He exhibits how they outfitted networks that communicated their rules to writers, politicians, and company leaders. however the visioneers weren't resistant to failure--or to the lures of revenue, superstar, and hype. O'Neill and Drexler confronted hassle investment their paintings and overcoming colleagues' skepticism, and observed their rules co-opted and reworked by means of Timothy Leary, the scriptwriters of Star Trek, and so on. finally, either males struggled to beat stigma and ostracism as they attempted to unshackle their visioneering from pejorative labels like "fringe" and "pseudoscience."
The Visioneers offers a balanced examine the successes and pitfalls they encountered. The booklet exposes the hazards of promotion--oversimplification, misuse, and misunderstanding--that can plague exploratory technology. yet specially, it highlights the significance of radical new principles that motivate us to help state-of-the-art learn into tomorrow's technologies.