Arts Unplugged will present the science of the little ones

From cell-sized robots to quantum computers to manipulation of human genes, the Arts Unplugged: Science of the Very, Very Small The March 9 event will explore nanoscale and quantum-scale innovations that are shaping our future.

Presented by the College of Arts and Sciences, the virtual event will include short discussions and conversations with some of Cornell’s top scientists and humanists, including Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffman. The event is free and the public is invited to register.

The virtual event, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., will also be broadcast live for the Cornell community in the Groos Family Atrium in Klarman Hall and the Clark Hall Atrium in the Physical Sciences Building. At these locations, live demonstrations of designing large-scale origami nanorobots will take place during intermission, with free origami paper available to the public. For those participating online, an origami model that can be printed at home is available here.

“Much of our future is shaped by innovations on a scale invisible to the human eye. This event will highlight these exciting discoveries,” said Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of Arts and Science Harold Tanner.

“Science of the Very, Very Small” will bring together researchers from many fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, literature and moral psychology, ranging from early career innovators to established researchers. Zubrow Distinguished Guest Journalist and award-winning science writer Natalie Wolchover will serve as moderator.

The goal of the Arts Unplugged series is to bring research and creative work into the public sphere for discussion and inspiration; as part of this outreach, A&S offers two additional ways to engage with the science of the very, very small.

The college has launched an “Envisioning the Future” competition, inviting submissions of a written description (200 word limit) or visual representation of how participants believe nanoscience will change our world. There are three age categories – primary, middle/high school and adult – and winning entries will be posted online, showcased at the March 9 event, and will receive a gift certificate for a local business. More information and the submission form are online.

In addition, a Nanoscale Science Poster Exhibition will be held on the Rockefeller Terrace side of the Physical Science Building. Virtual versions of the posters will also be displayed on the Arts Unplugged website.

The program of events for March 9 can be found online.

Linda Glaser is head of news and media relations for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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