Ever a shill for big nano, I’m making mention of the 2nd edition printing of the CRC Handbook of Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology from the Taylor & Francis Group, now with new nanotube cover (finally!) and new/updated chapters (such as the Nonlinear and Linear Macromolecules chapter by Stephen A. Habay and fellow Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems Working Group Member and recent Scientific American feature Christian Schafmeister). The purpose of such books, and any review for that matter, is largely time-management, with the general discussions and numerous references provided to introduce readers to broad areas of various sub-disciplines without having to search out the pdfs or do the serious legwork that went into authoring the chapters in the first place (for my part, I have no memories from January 2002 not associated with ChemDraw and Redbull).
To that end, the CRC NanoHandbook (like all the CRC Handbooks) is excellent as a source of current/recent research in the very broad field because the contents therein are largely confined to laboratory results and NOT speculation (perhaps an odd comment coming from someone in molecular manufacturing). That also makes it an excellent resource for researchers and not, necessarily, the general public. Of what few cocktail hour and airplane conversations I’ve had with people, I’ve decided that most people know as much about nanotechnology as I know about American Idol. I know there’s a show where people sing pop songs in a vain attempt to make money off of other people’s music (which I loath), I know an Indian guy made some press because of Howard Stern wanting to turn the show voting system into some kind of fiasco, there’s some Brit names Simon no one likes, Taylor Hicks won last year or something, and it’s on FOX. I’m sure if I cared enough to do some googling on the subject, I’d fill in a lot of missing pieces in a nanosecond. That said, I’ve never seen it, never tried to read anything about, and can only recall information someone else told me as part of random conversation that have regretfully slipped past my hippocampus to be stored into long-term memory (I otherwise pride myself on how well insulated I am from pop media). And that’s about the level of public understanding I get before diving head-first into mind-numbing conversations.