Science and Technology Innovation Program
There has been little change in public awareness of either synthetic biology or nanotechnology since previous surveys, according to this 2013 poll of more than 800 U.S. adults. In the poll, 23 percent of adults say they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology, compared with 31 percent who say the same about nanotechnology. The most common associations that respondents make with synthetic biology are that it is unnatural, man-made, and artificial or that it has to do with reproducing life.
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.
Can technology help us preserve our freedoms while reducing the threat of terrorist attacks? The Center's Foresight and Governance Project recently convened a group of experts to discuss ways to improve both civil liberties and national security in today's information age where the pressure is high for rapid data gathering and analysis.
Thanks to new technology, people can immediately help seismologists assess the scope and impact of earthquakes by providing valuable firsthand data. The recent east coast quake, centered in Virginia, provided the back drop for our discussion with Colorado-based seismologist, David Wald.
Enough voluntary initiatives for nanotechnology have been implemented so they can be looked at together, in a comparative sense, and historically, in terms of their relationship to programs that have preceded them. This report provides that analysis for the first time. In Voluntary Initiatives, Regulation, and Nanotechnology Oversight: Charting a Path, Dr. Daniel Fiorino provides a taxonomy of the various types of voluntary initiatives (past and present) and the partnerships that underlie them, as well as an assessment of the factors that are most likely to contribute to program success. As nanotechnologies advance, along with other emerging technologies, voluntary programs will continue to play an important role in the governance portfolio. For this reason, evaluating and learning from these endeavors will remain critical to better oversight. This report is an important contribution to that learning process.
A new study shows Americans are excited about the prospects of nanotechnology, but concerned about its potential health and environmental effects.
Hackathons offer an opportunity to achieve innovation-oriented goals with limited resources, but require careful planning and organizational commitment to sustain engagement over the long term. This brief provides an overview of hackathons and offers strategies from previous successful events.
“Budget Hero,” the computer game, designed to help people of all ages understand the Federal budget and the underlying issues that shape it, is now offered on the free resource GameUp™, BrainPOP’s collection of cross-curricular game titles from leading publishers.