Friday, November 28, 2003

Nano not hep to this cat

Gordon Wozniak, who the Contra Costa Times describes as the Berkeley City Council's "resident scientist," has a colorful way of telling his fellow council members not to worry about unfounded fears that stray nanoparticles will escape the molecular foundry being built at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    "Nanoscience is not something new or radical. This is existing science that's been hyped as 'nanoscience' to get money from the federal government. You can't swing a dead cat these days without hitting something called 'nano.'"

I'm wondering which charlatan scientists he's spoken to. The ones I've spoken to and read about are planning to do some real nanoscience at the new lab, including Steven Louie, a winner of the 2003 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. Is it possible that Louie's fooled a bunch of really smart people into believing that his cutting-edge work with nanotubes is just the same old existing science hyped as nanoscience? I'll need to go through my interview with him very carefully to find evidence of hucksterism, since the Berkeley City Council's "resident science" (who should know better) apparently has the inside dirt.

But back to that unfortunate feline. It obviously was not the lab that killed the cat, since it was already dead before it was swung into "nano." I suppose that leaves "curiosity" as the only other possible suspect.

More posts on molecular foundry protests can be found here, here, and toward the bottom here.


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