Science and Technology Innovation Program
David Rejeski Testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Products incorporating nanotechnology have become a global, multi-billion dollar industry yet much of the public knows little about nano's potential impact on the environment, human health, and privacy. A three-part tv series, "Nanotechnology: The Power of Small," airing in April, will explore these issues.
Geoff Dabelko, Director of the Environmental Change and Security Project at the Woodrow Wilson CenterIf environmental problems remain a major challenge in the 21st century, poverty and affluence will be critical factors in shaping that challenge. During the 20th century, rich nations developed a particular pattern of pollution and environmental degradation -- which has yet to be adequately addressed. Likewise, poor nations began despoiling the environment and squandering resources in ways that were distinctive to them. (First broadcast July 19-25, 1999)
Geoengineering invloves large-scale and deliberate techniques or interventions used in combination with civil engineering to affect the earth's climate, oceans, soils, and living systems, specifically to counteract global warming. This 2011 report from the Science and Technology Innovation Program reviews the challenges of geoengineering governance and argues for giving much greater attention to upstream governance strategies. Ten concerns about geoengineering are outlined including the potential for unintended consequences, the potential for ineffectiveness, the risk of sudden catastrophic warning and equity issues, among others.
Synthetic biology will allow scientists and engineers to create biological systems that do not occur naturally as well as to re-engineer existing biological systems to perform novel and beneficial tasks. This 2009 report presents a framework for addressing the social and ethical issues surrounding the field.
The growing use of social media and other mass collaboration technologies is opening up new opportunities in disaster management efforts, but is also creating new challenges for policymakers looking to incorporate these tools into existing frameworks. The Commons Lab, part of the Science & Technology Innovation Program, hosted a September 2012 workshop bringing together emergency responders, crisis mappers, researchers, and software programmers to discuss issues surrounding the adoption of these new technologies. This report discusses the key findings, policy suggestions, and success stories that emerged during the workshop.