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World’s top thinkers come together

09 February 2007

World’s top thinkers come together

Leading Scientists from around the world will come together in Wellington next week to share their latest findings in the areas of nanotechnology and advanced materials and to celebrate the life of their esteemed colleague Professor Alan MacDiarmid who was expected to speak at the conference but sadly died on Wednesday.

Nobel Prize winners, Professor Stephen Chu and Professor Sir Harold Kroto will meet with other leading names in science such as Professor Sir John Pendry at AMN-3, an international conference, hosted by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology which is situated at Victoria University of Wellington.

Running until Friday 16 February, the conference will open with a pōwhiri on Sunday at 6pm in the Wellington Town Hall. Attendees will sing Pokarekare Ana—Professor MacDiarmid’s favourite song— and Professor Callaghan, Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, will speak in Māori about his colleague.

The Hon Steve Maharey will speak at the opening ceremony on Monday 12 February, at approximately 8:30 am in the Illot Theatre at the Michael Fowler Centre. He will call for a minute of silence in memory of Professor MacDiarmid, a New Zealander who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000.

The conference will consist of two-and-a-half days of plenary addresses followed by two days of specialised parallel sessions including breakfast poster sessions. The main theatre is the Illot theatre and the overflow room is the Civic Suite.

Professor Stephen Chu:
Professor Chu’s research in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and biophysics includes tests of fundamental theories in physics, the development methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the manipulation and study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. His work on laser cooling and trapping atoms earned Professor Chu the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. Professor Chu is the Head of the Lawrence Berkely Laboratory, a United States Government energy research institute. He is an adviser to the United States Government on energy issues.
Further information: and

Professor Sir Harold Kroto:
With a father who made a business of printing faces on to balloons, education was paramount in Harold’s upbringing. He remembers in the 1960s deciding to spend five years trying to make a go of research and teaching and if it wasn’t working, retrain as a designer or go into scientific educational television. Professor Kroto was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for his discovery of C60.
Further information: and

Professor Sir John Pendry:
Professor Pendry is known for his work on the structure of surfaces and their interaction with electrons and photons. He has had more than 200 papers published on subjects such as surface plasmons and negative refractive index materials. From 1975 to 1981 he worked at the Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire, and since then at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. In 2006 the Royal Society awarded him one of three Royal Medals to be given by the Queen for his seminal contributions in surface science, disordered systems, photonics and in metamaterials and the concept of the perfect lens.
Further information: and


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