Sarah: As I blogged a few days ago, one of the guests at ICONN2008 was Don Eigler, IBM fellow from IBM Almaden Research Center (USA). So who is Don? You might remember some excitement amongst physicists and molecular scientists in the late 1990s when some IBM guy managed to manipulate individual xenon atoms to spell out the word “I-B-M”. That guy was Don Eigler. Don then and now works on extending human understanding of the physics of atomic-scale structures and exploring the potential of atomic-scale logic and data storage technologies. Don is remarkable not only for his capacity to dream big and make things happen for IBM, but also for his willingness to participate in the scientific process at many levels. In addition to delivering a plenary lecture at ICONN2008, Don inspired a whole new generation of scientists by chatting to teenagers and their supervisors attending the conference student and teacher nanotechnology teaching sessions. He provided simple and yet unpatronising explanations of atoms, electron microscopy and data storage amongst other topics, and willingly answered questions and posed for photos (we are such atomic celebrity junkies!). Check out the nanovic news and events pages for more on Don Eigler and the ICONN2008 student/teacher sessions later this week.
Bridge8 acknowledges the support of Nanotechnology Victoria to attend ICONN08.