Rice Unconventional Wisdom

Smalley InstituteSmalley Institute
Buckyball Discovery Gala
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Hyatt Regency Downtown Houston
   5:00 pm   Nanotechnology Showcase
   6:00 pm   Reception
   7:00 pm   Gala (business/cocktail attire)

The Smalley Institute is now accepting table and individual ticket reservations.   Download invitation here.  If you have questions, please contact Valerie Moore at nanoevent@rice.edu or 713-348-2438.



Gala HighlightsROCO


  • Remarks from Governor George Allen on Nanotechnology Innovation in the United States
  • Nano Demonstration with Congressman John Culberson using a Scanning Electron Microscope
  • World Premiere of the Nano Symphony preformed by River Oaks Chamber Orchestra




Note from the Director




This is a landmark year for nanotechnology – the 25th Anniversary of the Buckyball Discovery – marking the birth of nanoscience and nanotechnology at Rice. This pioneering discovery led to the establishment of the new field of fullerene science at the intersection of chemistry, physics, materials, engineering and nanotechnology. The impact of the discovery on science was recognized by the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, attendance at the 2003 Oval Office signing of a National Nanotechnology Bill and the 2010 designation of the discovery of the buckyball as a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society.  I was privileged to join the Smalley Institute in 2002. Working alongside the "grandfather" of nanotechnology, Rick Smalley, provided me the opportunity to capture his vision for improving the world through nanotechnology advancement. 




Nanotechnology is simply science at the nano (1 billionth) of a meter scale. Nano is special because materials have different properties at this scale – gold turns red and can be tailored to treat cancer – carbon organized in a tube is 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight and can be used to build an elevator to space.  The Smalley Institute’s vision is to solve humanity’s most pressing problems through the application of nanotechnology. The Buckyball Discovery Gala will introduce you to the cutting edge nanotechnology research and development underway by our Rice faculty for energy, health and medicine, water, defense and education. We also invite you to the events at Rice University, in the week following the Gala that will delve more deeply into the science and applications.




In addition to nanotechnology research, the Smalley Institute looks for unique ways to engage the community on nanotechnology. The Institute is committed to K-12 education outreach for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education. Our teacher training and student outreach have successfully reached young students and illustrated to them the ways STEM education can prepare them for a successful and rewarding career.
While everyone’s lives will be improved by nanotechnology, not everyone is touched by nanotechnology in the same way. To that end the Gala will conclude with the world premiere of two musical compositions inspired by nanotechnology. The nano-symphony composed by Tony Brandt of the Shepherd School and Todd Frazier of CPAM will feature highlights from the Buckyball discovery team. I hope the nano-music fills you with excitement in the same way nanotechnology inspires scientists like me.




Please make plans to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Thank you for considering support of the Smalley Institute and nanotechnology at Rice University.




Wade Adams, PhD
Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology
Rice University