Nanotechnology Project


New Nanotechnology Television Series Does “Sweat the Small Stuff”

April 2, 2008 5:30-7:30 PM

Webcast available at date and time of event.

*Note: Webcast archive posted soon. Woodrow WIlson Center, 6th Floor, Directions

NNCO Director Clayton Teague speaks while Andrew Maynard looks on.WASHINGTON - The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and National Science Foundation will host the Washington, DC, premiere event for the television series “Nanotechnology: The Power of Small” on Wednesday evening, April 2. The event will include remarks by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a co-chair of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus. *RSVP is required to attend.

The series’ three programs explore critical questions about nanotechnology’s potential impact on privacy, the environment and human health: Will nanotechnology make you safer, or will it be used to track your every move? Will nanotechnology keep you young, and what happens if you live to be 150? Will nanotechnology help clean up the earth, or will it be the next asbestos?

Panelists“Nanotechnology: The Power of Small” is the first major television series to look at the implications of advances in nanotechnology—the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture materials that are usually between one and 100 nanometers in size. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide. More than $60 billion in products incorporating nanotechnology were sold globally in 2007. By 2014, Lux Research estimates this figure will grow to $2.6 trillion.

The series begins airing on local public broadcasting stations in April 2008 (see It is funded by NSF and the presenting station and grantee for the series is Oregon Public Broadcasting. The series is a “Fred Friendly Seminars” presentation with award-winning National Public Radio correspondent John Hockenberry as host.

John HockenberryThe programs involve Hockenberry asking policymakers, scientists, journalists and community leaders to wrestle with difficult but essential issues about nanotechnology’s potential to impact people’s privacy and security, health and environment. Featured experts include Harvard University researcher George M. Whitesides, PEN chief scientist Andrew Maynard, and author Joel Garreau, among others.

The premiere is a “NanoDays 2008” special event. “NanoDays 2008” is a weeklong series of community-based educational outreach programs focused on nanotechnology and engineering, sponsored by the NISE Network (Nanoscale Informal Science Education, see “NanoDays 2008” programs are being held at science and natural history museums, universities, and policy and education centers around the nation from March 29 through April 6, 2008.