Science and Technology Innovation Program
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)
Individuals and organizations using social media and crowdsourcing need two key sets of information: a systematic assessment of the vulnerabilities in these technologies and a comprehensive set of best practices describing how to address these vulnerabilities. This report identifies certain vulnerabilities and provides a guideline to develop best practices necessary to address a growing number of incidents ranging from innocent mistakes to targeted attacks that have claimed lives and cost millions of dollars.
View Recent action in Congress to reauthorize the U.S. federal nanotechnology research program offers the chance to address the social and ethical issues concerning the emerging scientific field, experts say. “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University philosophy professor and author of a new report funded by the Project and the National Science Foundation. The report emphasizes ways in which such topics intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities, including science and technology policy, as well as research funding, regulation and work on public engagement.
The application of nano-scale technologies is beginning to dramatically impact both how we produce and conserve energy. How far can these technologies take us on the road towards energy independence? In this seminar, a panel of industry experts explored a wide range of technologies, ranging from photovoltaics to lighting and clean coal technology.
Jane Harman writes about the potential of serious games – like the Wilson Center’s own Budget Hero – to engage citizens in public policy and even fix our broken Congress in Bloomberg's "My Bright Idea" column.
The International Life Sciences Institute will release a new report that for the first time gives scientists the elements of a framework for assessing the potential human health effects from exposure to engineered nanomaterials.
Published by the Commons Lab, "New Visions in Citizen Science" showcases seventeen case studies that offer a mosaic view of federally-sponsored citizen science and open innovation projects, from in-the-field data collection to online games for collective problem-solving. This report offers a sampling of different models that support public contribution, potential challenges, and positive impacts that projects can have on scientific literacy, research, management, and public policy.