US Congressman John Cullberson
Statement for the record The passing of Dr. Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D. Hon. Culberson Texas, District 7 November 1, 2005 Mr. Hastert
Last Friday, the science community lost one of its finest minds, Dr.
Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D, after a
lengthy battle with cancer.
Dr. Smalley will be remembered as the father of nanotechnology after his discovery of carbon-60 fullerene molecules called “buckyballs,” for which he was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. These molecules are the hardest and strongest substances in the universe. Nanotechnology has shown boundless promise to make substances smaller, faster, lighter, stronger, more durable, and less expensive.
Born in Akron, Ohio on June 6, 1943, Dr. Smalley grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where his passion for science arose from his mother’s interest and the successful launch of Sputnik. Interestingly, his aunt, Dr. Sara Jane Rhoads, was one of the first women in the United States ever to reach the rank of full Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Smalley graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in chemistry, and Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. After several years at the University of Chicago, he moved to Houston in the summer of 1976 to take a position as assistant professor in the chemistry department at Rice University where he would go on to become the Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry.
Dr. Smalley continued to advance the field of nanotechonology and to serve as a statesman, balancing the commercial opportunities with critical environmental ethical and safety concerns. He taught a whole generation of nanotechnologists and built bridges to fields such as energy, aerospace and medicine.
I ask the United States Congress to join me in expressing our deepest appreciation to Professor Smalley for his service to humanity and wish his family, friends, and colleagues all of God’s blessings.