Debunking the Nanobot at Awesome Con

(June 3, 2016) The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is taking on the nanobot at this year’s Awesome Con by unraveling popular misconceptions about nanotechnology in a panel entitled Debunking the Nanobot. Subject area experts ranging from a White House staffer to a sci-fi writer will examine the intersections between science, technology, science fiction, and popular culture, and discuss ways in which new technologies, especially nanotechnology, will impact our lives. The panel will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 1:45 PM. Details on the panel are below. For further information, visit

Debunking the Nanobot
June 5 at 1:45 PM

Panel Description: What do the T-1000 Terminator, Iron Man, The Empty Child, Prey, Batman, I, Robot, and Revolution have in common? If you said “nanobots” (or nanites, nanomachines, nanomites, or nanoprobes), you’re right. Self-replicating, sentient, consuming, or creating, nanobots are a popular tool (or black box) in science fiction to explain fantastical abilities or threats worse than death. But what is the reality? Come learn what nanobots really “look” like and what they might be able to do (spoiler - the world will NOT be destroyed by a swarm of hungry nanobots). Ask nanotechnology experts if you’ll be able to one day have nanobots swimming through your veins curing disease, dissolving to pass through bars, or ordering up a cheeseburger built from the elements in a pile of dirt.

•    Moderator, Shelah Morita, PhD (Evolutionary Biologist and Policy Analyst at NNCO)
•    Lloyd Whitman, PhD (Asst Director for Nanotechnology and Adv. Materials, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy)
•    Merrilea J. Mayo, PhD (Technology Innovator and STEM Advocate at Mayo Enterprises, LLC)
•    David Forrest, PhD (Technology Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy)
•    Catherine Asaro, PhD (Award Winning Science Fiction Author and Scientist)


Media Contact:
Marlowe Newman, NNCO Communications Director