Two more presentations before lunch at noon.
First, David Baker of the University of Washington spoke on protein structures (abstract here).
Onstage right now is William A. Goddard III of Caltech. He's a Big Name in nanotechnology research, and one of the co-chairs of the conference. His talk is wide-ranging, describing the recent successes and failures in efforts of developing useful and stable molecular systems -- things like switches and motors. (Abstract here, homepage here.)
This is as good a point as any to mention again that I'm listening to these presentations as a layman, and that most of the technical details are going way over my head. Anyone seeking more detail should contact the speakers, whose e-mail addresses can be found on the Foresight website. My own interest is more on the public policy side of things (which is why I'm speaking here on Sunday, when the emphasis is public policy). I get the impression, though, that partial understanding is not unusual at nanotech conferences. In fact, so much of advanced nanotechnology crosses between disciplines that it's very difficult even for experts, trained in specific scientific sub-fields, to get their arms around it.
P.S. - Dr. Goddard, it turns out, is an academic "grandson" of Marie Curie. Goddard's advisor was Pol Duwez, whose advisor was Emile Henriot, whose advisor was Marie Curie.
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