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Risks and Promise of Nanoscale Technology (7th Science at the Solstice Lecture)

(Followed by a festive holiday reception.)


Dr. Vicki L. Colvin


Vicki Colvin, a nationally prominent scientist and Vice Provost of Research at Rice University, will speak on nanoscale particles: how they can revolutionize both engineering and medicine, plus what they teach us about everyday materials.


Risks and Promise of Nanoscale Technology
Professor Vicki Colvin
Center for Biological & Environmental Nanotechnology
Depts. of Chemistry and Chemical & Biological Engineering
Rice University

Understanding and controlling matter at the nanometer scale offers a new industrial revolution in our economy and our daily lives. But as with prior revolutions in synthetic chemistry, nuclear physics, and genetic engineering, the net value of innovation will depend on wisely addressing the social consequences. Who will benefit, and who will pay the costs?


Dr. Colvin will take us from the discovery of buckminsterfullerene to more recent work in nanoscience, including buckyballs as molecular cages and nanoparticles of seemingly mundane materials such as iron and titanium oxides: rust and sunscreen. She will help sort the short-term hype from the long-term promise of these technologies, especially in connection with those other tiny wonders, living cells. With broader popular appreciation of the basic science, we can hope to reap the benefits of new materials and medicines while managing the dangers.

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  • Bradley

    Fascinating sampling of nano materials and possible uses and unintended consequences.

    December 9, 2012

  • Lyle S.

    Can't make it. Hope someone videos it!!

    December 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It's today! Free lecture, followed by a festive holiday reception, in the museum district. Come hear about how science should be done right, and stick around afterwards to mingle with an interesting crowd of humanists and science fans.

    December 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Park in the lots on the first and second blocks northwards along Fannin, if you can, otherwise look for street parking.

    1 · December 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The lecture is expected to last somewhat less than an hour, perhaps somewhat more after Q&A. The reception afterwards is more open-ended, but should wind up around 4:30.

    December 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oh, and the lecture is free & open to the public. Bring your friends, if they are interested in technology and making it work for people.

    December 2, 2012

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