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Buckyball co-discoverer dead at 62

It is with sadness that we report the death of nanotech pioneer, Richard Smalley at 62. Smalley, along with Harry Kroto and colleagues discovered the all-carbon fullerene molecule in the early 1990s at a time when I was just beginning my career as a science writer. Their fascinating research into the soccerball shaped molecules, which were nicknamed buckyballs by the popular science press, provided many of us with some of the greatest punning opportunities ever in science. More seriously, they and their tubular offspring are after many years of detailed and fundamental research beginning to reach new goals in the field of nanotechnology.

Smalley undertook pathbreaking research, showed an incredible commitment to teaching, and was dedicated to the idea of betterment of our world.

He died in Houston on 28th October after a long battle with cancer.

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