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Press Statement 05-002

Appreciation of Nanotech Pioneer Richard Smalley

From NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr.

Nanotechnology pioneer Richard Smalley died Oct. 28, 2005, after a long battle with cancer.

Nanotechnology pioneer Richard Smalley died Oct. 28, 2005, after a long battle with cancer.

November 2, 2005

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

All of us at the National Science Foundation are deeply saddened by the death of Professor Richard E. Smalley late last week. Professor Smalley of Rice University, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of carbon "buckyballs," was an energetic and inventive scientist and one of the founders of nanoscience. His vision helped set the direction for this important and exciting field, and his outspoken advocacy for its societal benefits was instrumental in launching the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The structures he studied may have been tiny, but his legacy is enormous.


Read the Rice University press release.

In March 2002, Smalley was the keynote speaker at the NSF sponsored symposium "Small Wonders: Exploring the Vast Potential of Nanoscience." His remarks continue to provide an excellent introduction to the world of the very, very small.

Information about Smalley's research appears on his laboratory Web site at Rice University and on the Nobel Foundation Web site.

Media Contacts
Leslie Fink, NSF, (703) 292-5395, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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