Rice University chemistry professor Richard Smalley, a Nobel laureate and a leader in the world of nanotechnology, died Friday of leukemia. It is a sad & early death for a brilliant and wonderfully creative man:
Dr. Smalley, a short, trim man with a fringe of beard and a wry sense of humor, used his renown as a platform to evangelize for increased investment in educating a new generation of scientists and engineers. He also spoke ceaselessly to conferences and business executives about how nanotechnology with its rapidly expanding capacity to reshape materials at the molecular level could transform the economy and address both environmental and energy challenges.
“He’s like a rock star in technology circles,” said Robert Gower, chief executive and co-founder with Dr. Smalley of Carbon Nanotechnologies, a company set up to commercialize Dr. Smalley’s discoveries, in a 2003 interview.