Science Café: Power in the Nano City


Friday, March 15, 2013 - 5:30pm


Event Details

Today we think of power in two different ways that might not be so different after all. Power is the term many of us use for electricity. We plug our machines into power strips and we see large power stations and power lines running throughout our city.

But power is also a form of authority. In this way, power is exercised by politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, corporate officers and citizens in different ways and at different times. At this Science Café, we want to wrestle with these two definitions of power and allow for them to be, almost, used interchangeably.

Questions to explore

  • How might emerging nanotechnologies change the power dynamics in the Nano City?
  • How do our political power structures impact the distribution of electricity (and its power)?
  • Would a shift in electricity technology result in a shift in political power?
  • Who would like to see a shift in power, and who is seeking to preserve the status quo?


Christiana Honsberg is a professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at ASU. Her research is focused on ultra-high efficiency solar cells.

Nancy La Placa is a former policy advisor to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman. 

event poster