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New nanotechnology television series does 'sweat the small stuff'

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) and National Science Foundation (NSF) will host the Washington, DC, premiere event for the television series Nanotechnology: The Power of Small on Wednesday evening, April 2. The eventby invitation onlywill include remarks by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a co-chair of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus.

The series three programs explore critical questions about nanotechnologys 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"

Nanotechnology: The Power of Small is the first major television series to look at the implications of advances in nanotechnologythe 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.

The programs involve Hockenberry asking policymakers, scientists, journalists and community leaders to wrestle with difficult but essential issues about nanotechnologys potential to impact peoples 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 reception marking the Washington, DC, premiere of Nanotechnology: The Power of Small will take place on Wednesday, April 2nd from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the 6th Floor Board Room and Auditorium of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (

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.

What: Washington, DC Premiere Event for three-part public television series, Nanotechnology: The Power of Small

Who: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Arden L. Bement, Jr., director, National Science Foundation
Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When: Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 5:307:30 p.m.

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Board
Room & Auditorium. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC; see:


Contact: Colin Finan
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

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