The quality’s a bit flaky, but I thought I would upload this video for a bit of fun.  It’s the first – and possibly the last – time I will simultaneously attempt to unravel the mysteries of nanotechnology… while baking a cake!

Filmed at the National Museum of American History as part of Nanodays 2010, the presentation was part of a public dialogue on  nanotechnology.  My task: help set the scene for a discussion on who should oversee the responsible development of nanotechnology.

Wanting to try something a little different, I thought I would play around with cooking as an analogy for nanotechnology.  The analogy is a useful one – I only scrape the surface of where it could be taken here.  But whether it was a wise decision to actually cook in public – well, I’ll leave judgment on that one to you!

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One thing the video doesn’t show is how the cake turned out.  I would like to say that it was light, moist and delicious.  However, just in case someone posts pictures of the actual result, I have to be straight with you – it sucked!  Personally, I blame the lab oven provided by the Smithsonian – I can cook, honest!  Perhaps a bonus lesson though is that, even with the best preparations, unanticipated consequences are always possible – whether baking a cake or making the latest nanotech-enabled gizmo!

Andrew Maynard