Nanotechnology to be translated into Setswana
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
July 31st has been set as the closing date for the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (“BITRI”) nanotechnology challenge. BITRI is, through the challenge, inviting those within Botswana to take part in a competition where they are asked to submit a translation of the term ‘Nanotechnology” into a Setswana word or phrase.
According to information made available to biztechafrica by the BITRI Public Relations Manager, Lesego Agang, “Nanotechnology is the Driving force of the BITRI priority thematic research areas of Technologies (Electronics, Energy and ICT) and Natural Resources and Material (Environment, Materials and Water).”
When K. Eric Drexler popularized the word 'nanotechnology' in the 1980's, he was talking about building machines on the scale of molecules, a few nanometers wide—motors, robot arms, and even whole computers, far smaller than a cell. Drexler spent the next ten years describing and analyzing these incredible devices, and responding to accusations of science fiction.
Meanwhile, mundane technology was developing the ability to build simple structures on a molecular scale. As nanotechnology became an accepted concept, the meaning of the word shifted to encompass the simpler kinds of nanometer-scale technology.
“Much of the work being done today that carries the name 'nanotechnology' is not nanotechnology in the original meaning of the word. Nanotechnology, in its traditional sense, means building things from the bottom up, with atomic precision. This theoretical capability was envisioned as early as 1959 by the renowned physicist Richard Feynman,” adds a statement from an authority on the subject.
In a note to the participants, BITRI says in no uncertain terms that: “It is your responsibility to ensure that your entry is received by us prior to the closure of the competition. Any entries which are not received by us prior to the closure of the competition will not be eligible to participate, regardless of the reason for the late entry. We and our affiliates are not responsible for any entries which are not received by us, whether timeously or at all, regardless of the cause thereof.
Without limitation, we and our affiliates are not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer hardware or software failure or malfunction, traffic congestion (whether physical, or on the Internet, telephone lines or at any service provider, web site or other device or medium), or any combination thereof, or any other technical or other problems.”
According to entry requirements, “the competition is not open to; Employees, Board of Directors of BITRI or any supplier of goods or services in connection with the competition; and the spouse, life partner, business partner or associate,or the natural or adopted parent, child, or sibling, of any of the persons specified associated with BITRI. Entrants under the age of 18 must obtain permission from their parents or guardians before entering.”
Competition winners will walk away with tablets, says Agang.