Monthly Archives June 2011

Groupthink hasn’t worked, it’s time to embrace the maverick

Nigel M. de S. Cameron
Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies

As the Arab spring continues to unravel into an Arab summer, the most important lesson is that hardly anyone knew it was coming. Much like the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Wall Street could it be that as much as conventional wisdom may be conventional it is not always reliably wise?

I recently hosted a conference in Washington on the future of nanotechnology. All kinds of experts were round the table talking tech and policy and business. Then one of them made a stunning statement. She was there on behalf of a big, mainstream environmentalist group. “I have never,” she stated, “been on such a diverse panel in Washington.” There was a brief but palpable intake of air around the room...

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