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What Does it Take to Build a Tinier Future: The History and Philosophy of Nanotechnology

August 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

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In his debut Interintellect salon, David White will explore how we came to construct objects and machines at the atomic scale as well as the  implications of nanotechnology for its practitioners and society at large.

One of the principal promises of advancing technological innovation is the opening of new domains of inquiry.  Since Democritus first conjectured there are only atoms and void, we have wondered how to build using atoms. Only within the past seventy years, has the technology caught up with the imagination to create atomic inventions.

We will examine what it took to get here though and why did it take so long.  How were the technologies which can reliably observe and manipulate atomic matter developed?  From the Lycurgus Cup to Quantum Dot televisions, we have managed a  transition from “contamination” to mass scale manufacture.

Perhaps more importantly as we have arrived at the ability to construct nanoscale building blocks, we will examine the different philosophies for what to do with that immense power. Should we focus on nanomedicine,  advanced structural composites, better electronics, or wholly new areas which have yet to be understood? We will also look at the risk of actually creating “Grey Goo”.

Come join us for a fun discussion about the tinier things in life.


Good to Read/Watch pre-Salon:

Two Cultures of Nanotechnology

Plenty of Room at the Bottom

A Brief Guide to Nanotechnology History

The Two Faces of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty

30 Years of Foresight





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August 8, 2021
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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David White