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Distinguished Speaker Series: Ainissa Ramirez

Date & Time

Jun 25th at 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM



Rating ( votes)

"Small and Strange Stuff in the World of Nanotechnology"

Weird things happen to materials when we make them very very small.   For example, a gold brick is yellow, but when we shrink it so that it is 1/100,000 the thickness of your hair, it changes color.  This is the strange world of nanotechnology, which will help make solar power and new medicines to fight cancer possible.  Come learn about the small and strange stuff that will be part of our future.


Ainissa Ramirez is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science.  Before taking on this call, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University.  Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named her as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, Discover Magazine, Fortune Magazine, CNN, ESPN, The Hartford Courant and numerous scientific magazines (Scientific American, R&D Magazine, Materials Today, and Chemical & Engineering News).


Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). Prior to working at Yale, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey were she did award-winning research. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.  She founded a company called Adhera Technologies to commercialize one of her inventions. She has lectured at Columbia, Harvard, Caltech, MIT, Cornell, Princeton, Northwestern, and Stanford.


A staunch advocate for improving the public’s understanding of science, her talk at TED on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education generated widespread enthusiasm. At Yale, she was the director of the award-winning science lecture series for children called Science Saturdays and hosts two popular-science video series called Material Marvels and Science Xplained.


She speaks nationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, and several science museums. She has written as a science correspondent for Time magazine’s Washington D.C. bureau.  Currently, she is writing a book, entitled Save Our Science for TED Books on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.  She is also co-authoring a popular book (with Allen St. John) on the science behind football called Newton’s Football for Random House.