Nanotechnology Project


Nanotechnology: The Next Big Thing

Monday March 5, 2007 • 12:30 P.M. – 1:30 P.M

View Webcast  video

Room 188 Russell Senate Office Building

Honorary Hosts:

  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) • Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
  • Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) • Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Chairs of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus


Mark A. Ratner, Professor of Chemistry & Director, Institute of Nanotechnology & Nanofabrication, Northwestern University; co-author, Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Idea

Mark Ratner, Ph.D., winner of the 2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, is widely credited as the “father of molecular-scale electronics”—thanks to his groundbreaking work with Ari Aviram that first envisioned how electronic circuit elements might be constructed from single molecules and how these circuits might behave. Ratner is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He lectures worldwide on nanotechnology and its implications.

Celia Merzbacher, Assistant Director for Technology Research & Development, Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President

Celia Merzbacher, Ph.D., handles matters relating to nanotechnology, intellectual property, technology transfer, and assistive technology through her role at OSTP. She is also the OSTP liaison with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) during its review of the federal nanotechnology program. Dr. Merzbacher began her career at the Naval Research Laboratory in 1989 developing advanced optical materials, for which she holds a number of patents. Merzbacher received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University.

David Rejeski, Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

David Rejeski directs the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and the Foresight and Governance Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an initiative designed to facilitate better long-term thinking and planning in the public sector. He has written extensively on science, technology, and policy issues, in areas ranging from genetics to electronic commerce and pervasive computing. He has graduate degrees in public administration and environmental design from Harvard and Yale.

“Nanoscience and nanotechnology are two of the hottest fields in science, business, and the news today.” —Mark Ratner, Northwestern University

“Maybe you’ve heard it described as ‘The Next Industrial Revolution’ on the news followed by some business commentary. Maybe you’re a Will Smith fan and saw his 2004 movie I, Robot, where ‘nanites’ save the day…” —Nanotechnology for Dummies

“In 2014, we project that $2.6 trillion in global manufactured goods will incorporate nanotech, or about 15% of total output.” —Lux Research, Inc.

“Only one in 10 Americans have heard a lot about nanotechnology.” —Hart Research, Inc.