Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Woe unto nano

By the waters of Babylon, John Zimmer lays down and weeps for thee, nano journalism.

    I realize that journalists are not scientists. I do not expect them to get all the details right based on a 15-minute phone interview with an expert. Journalists are not likely to know whether or not it is meaningful to refer to the surface area of a molecule. They have the daunting task of distilling sometimes highly technical details into language and images the general public can understand and appreciate. To do so with fidelity to the science at hand is difficult for anyone, and all the more so for someone not himself familiar with the science. With this in mind, I do not particularly fault the journalist cited below. I aim merely to highlight comical, though woeful, scientific misconceptions in nanoscience. It seems to me that nanoscience is particularly prone to such misconceptions. It might simply be, however, that I am better equipped to detect these fallacies in nanoscale chemistry than in other fields. More here
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