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Hanging Out with Nobel Prize Winner Sir Harold Kroto

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Sir Harold Kroto demonstrates the shape of a buckyball, a carbon molecule with 60 atoms. Credit: Google Science Fair

What is it like to win a Nobel Prize? Should you worry about picking something “important” to work on as a scientist? How can art help in trying to understand how the universe works? And what is the real key to success?

You can find out by watching today’s Google Science Fair Hangout with Sir Harold Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of carbon molecules called buckminsterfullerines, or buckyballs.

The Google Science Fair is a global competition open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 18; entries are due April 30, and Kroto and I are judges. Scientific American has been a partner since the fair’s launch in 2011, and sponsors the $50,000 Science in Action award. (Read about the first Science in Action winner, in 2012, by 14-year-old Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela of Swaziland.)

Joining Harry (as he prefers to be called) and me on today’s Hangout were Krizia Lopez, a student at Columbia University and a Google Student Ambassador who shares a love of combining science and art, and Shree Bose, a student at Harvard University and the grand prize winner of the first Google Science fair in 2011.

The video is below. Look for more scientist Hangouts on the Google Science Fair Google+ page.


Mariette DiChristina About the Author: Editor in Chief, Mariette DiChristina, oversees Scientific American,, Scientific American MIND and all newsstand special editions. Follow on Twitter @mdichristina.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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