Past Meetup

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

This Meetup is past


(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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