Nanotech is the Nexus of the Sciences
Herein lies much of the excitement about nanotechnology. Quite simply, it is in the richness of human communication about science. Nanotech exposes the core areas of overlap in the fundamental sciences, the place where quantum physics and quantum chemistry can cross-pollinate with ideas from the life sciences.
Over time, each of the academic disciplines develops its own proprietary systems vernacular that isolates it from neighboring disciplines. Nanoscale science requires scientists to cut across scientific languages to unite the isolated islands of innovation.
In academic centers and government labs, nanotech is fostering new conversations. At Stanford, Duke and many other schools, the new nanotech buildings are physically located at the symbolic hub of the schools of engineering, computer science and medicine.
(Keep in mind though, that outside of the science and research itself, the "nanotech" moniker conveys no business synergy whatsoever. The marketing, distribution and sales of a nanotech solar cell, memory chip or drug delivery capsule will be completely different from each other, and will present few opportunities for common learning or synergy.)
Nanotech is the nexus of the sciences. The history of humanity is that we use our tools and our knowledge to build better tools and expand the bounds of our learning. Empowered by the digitization of the information systems of biology, the nanotech nexus is catalyzing an innovation Renaissance, a period of exponential growth in learning, where the power of biotech, infotech and nanotech compounds the advances in each formerly discrete domain. This should be a very exciting epoch, one that historians may look back on with no less portent than the Industrial Revolution.