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Crisis on Asimov: Lessons from Venus
Analysis & Commentary by Dr. Sheila Ronis

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"Benson, Dr. Saint-Germain called on holo and the committee invited me to give my paper at the Paris environmental conference. He's hoping you'll come, too...What do you think?"

"I think it's great. Do you think they may talk about the new materials and their environmental impacts? Because, if they are, I might be able to go with you. We could ask my Mom to come up and watch the kids, so we can go to Earth for a long weekend. I think IBM would consider it worthwhile for me. What do you think?"

"As if you need to ask me. I'll call your Mom."

"So, Grandma Cema is coming to watch us for a few days. That's great! She always brings us fun stuff to play with from Earth and once she gets here, we have a great time," said Peter.

"Hooray! Grandma Cema's coming. That means great things to eat, too," said Anna.

Yoshiko grimaced. "Do you think she spoils the children too much?" she asked Benson.

"No way. That's what grandparents are for...I wonder why Dr. Saint-Germain wanted me to come, too? Just because he hasn't seen us for a while? Hmmm."

Yoshiko asked for the complete conference guide over holo, and it was transmitted within moments.

"Guess who is going to talk about the recycling of nanotechnological robots that have done their jobs collecting toxic waste from sites on the Earth? Mary Beth Livingstone. Remember her? She was one of your professors at Ohio State. I heard she is doing some very interesting work in that arena."

"Gee, I haven't seen her for years. Is there an image?" said Benson.

"Wow. She looks great. Hasn't aged a day," Yoshiko added.

Benson nodded.

"And look who else is speaking! Jim Swenson is making a presentation on those smart materials he was talking about. Funny. He never said a word to me about the fact that he was doing this. I wonder if he knows you will be presenting?"

Yoshiko was sure that Benson was coming.

"Listen to the description of his presentation,"

"Bioelectronics is a mature science, today. Now that most of the social issues regarding the use of biological creatures have been resolved, today's materials are 'alive.' They grow themselves, heal themselves and are embedded with artificial intelligence so they are 'smart.' Most things, including all vehicles, are made from them. As long as you feed them, they are happy! There are only a few known environmental issues associated with the recycling of the bioelectronics materials, and this presentation will explore them."

"He's lost his mind, Yoshiko," Benson said.


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