Public Release: 

Converging technologies can improve human performance, report says

National Science Foundation

The convergence of nanoscale research with other sciences and technologies has created a vast opportunity to enhance human performance, scientists say in a report released today titled "Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance." The report, issued by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Commerce, examines the integrated role of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science in improving mental and physical performance.

The recommendations outlined in the executive summary are "far-reaching and fundamental, urging the transformation of science, engineering and technology at its very roots. The new developments will be revolutionary and must be governed by respect for human welfare and dignity."

In the report, scientists recommend the United States designate as a national priority the research and development of technologies that enhance human abilities and efficiencies. Examples include machines, devices and materials to optimize human interaction and enhance work efficiency, learning, and sensory and cognitive capabilities. Such technologies could revolutionize health care, ease the consequences of disabilities and aging, and enable novel communication techniques.

The document also suggests strategies to prepare key organizations and sectors of society for the envisioned changes. The findings and recommendations are the result of a December 2001 workshop at NSF requested by the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology.


For the full report, see:

Media Contact:
Marjorie Weisskohl, DOC
(202) 482-0149/

Program Contacts:
Mihail Roco, NSF
(703) 292-8301/
William Bainbridge, NSF
(703) 292-8930/
John Sargent, DOC
(202) 482-6185/

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