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No Small Matter

No Small Matter

Monday, December 7, 2009

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by Science & the City


A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can’t see it. An introduction to the science and technology of small things, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale incorporates the dazzling photographic imagery of Felice Frankel of the Harvard Arts & Sciences faculty, and evocative descriptions of Harvard chemical biology pioneer George Whitesides to reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience.

Frankel and Whitesides, who previously collaborated on On the Surface of Things: Images of the Extraordinary in Science, offer an overview of recent scientific advances that have given us our ever-shrinking microtechnology—for instance, an information processor connected by wires only 1,000 atoms wide. They describe the new methods used to study nanostructures, suggest ways of understanding their often bizarre behavior, and outline their uses in technology. Their book explains the various means of making nanostructures and speculates about their importance for critical developments in information processing, computation, biomedicine, and other areas.

No Small Matter considers both the benefits and the risks of nano/microtechnology—from the potential of quantum computers and single-molecule genomic sequencers to the concerns about self-replicating nanosystems. By making the practical and probable realities of nanoscience as comprehensible and clear as possible, the book provides a unique vision of work at the very boundaries of modern science.

Preview images from the book in a slideshow hosted by SEED Magazine.

Reception to follow.


George M. Whitesides, PhD

George M. Whitesides is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a winner of the National Medal of Science, he is author of more than 900 scientific publications and is co-founder of numerous scientific companies including Genzyme, Theravance, and Surface Logix. He is known as a pioneer in nanotechnology.

Felice C. Frankel

Felice C. Frankel is Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard where she heads the Envisioning Science program at Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing. She holds a concurrent appointment as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Frankel's images have been published in more than 300 journal articles and/or covers and various other publications for general audiences.

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