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Ben Feringa
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Scientist
    (May 18, 1951- )
    Born in Barger-Compascuum, Netherlands
    Birth name was Bernard Lucas Feringa
    Vice-President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
    Organic chemist specializing in molecular nanotechnology
    Published over 650 scientific papers
    Holds over 30 patents
    Co-recipient, with Fraser Stoddart and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering work in the design and synthesis of molecular machines
    His last name sounds like an alien race from ‘Star Trek.’
    He said the main reason he went into research with Shell after getting his PhD is that it let him avoid otherwise compulsory military service.
    Asked about his leisure activities, he said ‘I own a piece of land with a big garden where I grow my own vegetables’ – clearly a first step in creating a self-sufficient compound where he can hide from the nanobot-driven zombie hoards he will unleash. (See next entry.)
    Cracked.com listed nanotechnology running amok as the most likely cause of a real-life zombie apocalypse. So when the brain-dead shell of a human being bites you so the nanobots can abandon its decaying body and take over yours, you’ll know who to curse. (At least until the nanobots rewire your brain so you’ll like the situation.)
    He said about teaching, ‘If you are not enthusiastic, how can you expect your students to be?’
    He built the first molecular motor by creating chemical structures that, when exposed to pulses of ultraviolet light, spun continuously in one direction.
    He created a nanocar which looks cool, even if it does not yet have any practical application.
    He said about safety concerns in nanotechnology, ‘We will have the opportunity to build in safety devices if that is needed.’ (But then, do you really expect him to say, ‘I’m afraid my research has made a zombie apocalypse likely, if not inevitable. Sorry about that.’)

Credit: C. Fishel


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