Nanomaterials: scientific wonder or scientific fiction?
Many would say the study of nanomaterials goes back approximately 30 years to the discovery of buckyballs, back in the mid-1980s. Others argue we've been using nanomaterials for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Regardless, the current generation of nanomaterials are often hailed from some quarters as things that will change our lives in energy, in medicine, and in environmental applications. All the while, their use commercially in major projects has been significantly held back by a number of different issues. The question becomes: how, when, where ,and why will nanomaterials play a role in society and technology going forward? Will they go by the wayside as a science fiction idea that never bore fruit or become a science reality powering all of the next-generation materials and technologies of the later 21st century, and on into the 22nd and beyond? In this talk, I hope to explain about nanomaterals in general, and share insights from the academic, governmental, and industrial spheres about their many potential uses.
For most of the twentieth century, probability was considered to apply only to inherently random, ideally repeatable experiments. More recently, this classical "frequentist" formalism has been displaced by a more general "Bayesian" outlook that sees probabilities as a way to describe any incompleteness in our state of knowledge. I will discuss how this view of statistical inference, empowered by the ability of computers to calculate the relevant probabilities numerically, informs our interpretation of a range of information, from prenatal screening, to election forecasting, to observations of gravitational waves.