Penn Humanities Forum: Beautiful Science

The Architecture of Butterflies

Shu Yang

Professor of Material Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Daniel Janzen

Professor of Biology and Thomas G. and Louise E. DiMaura Term Chair, University of Pennsylvania

John Tresch

Associate Professor of History & Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

The brilliant colors of butterfly wings reveal much about aesthetics, evolution, and engineering. How do their patterns provide protective camouflage in tropical rain forests? How is nanotechnology using the waterproofing properties of butterfly colors to fabricate energy-efficient materials for buildings? In this panel discussion, Penn researchers discuss how their scientific and technological work imitates nature.

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