Science and Technology Innovation Program
John Crowley, research fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and public policy scholar with the Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program. A. Ross Johnson, research fellow with the Hoover Institution and also a senior scholar with the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.
View State and local governments often have adopted trailblazing initiatives to address environmental, health and safety concerns in advance or in lieu of federal action. With nanotechnology, an emerging field of science with unknown risks, this practice is continuing, a landmark study has found. “In the absence of action at the federal level, local and state governments may begin to explore their options for oversight of nanotechnology,” says author Suellen Keiner. The report discusses possible options for state and local governments to follow that would allow for oversight of the potential negative impacts of nanotechnology – including local air, waste and water regulations, as well as labeling and worker safety requirements.
John Seely Brown, Chief Scientist, XEROX and co-author (with Paul Duguid) of the book The Social Life of Information.Many believe that computerization is adversely affecting the place of books, libraries, universities and conversation. John Seely Brown thinks that this is a misperception. He argues that the flourishing of the computer age will call for increased reliance on the social formation of knowledge. In this interview, John Seely Brown discusses his recent book (co-authored with Paul Duguid), The Social Life of Information, and talks about the evolution of information technology in our complex and often unpredictable social world.
Imagine combining the principles and techniques of engineering, biology, and nanotechnology to create new products—revolutionary medical treatments, biofuels, and other innovations. The Wilson Center is studying the promises and perils of this emerging field of synthetic biology.
Imagine, for a moment, a world that is rapidly changing along three dimensions: Structure: a shift from hierarchies to networks; Ownership: transitions from proprietary to open-source models; and Exchange: a movement from classic markets and commodities to a gift or contribution economy. For public policymakers, this emerging zone creates opportunities to craft next generation policy, leadership, and management strategies that can work on the edge of change.
Will information technology provide new solutions to our environmental dilemmas? A new collection of research studies, edited by the Wilson Center's Foresight and Governance Project Director David Rejeski, examines the environmental impact of the Internet economy.