Science and Technology Innovation Program
Rapidly evolving information and communication technologies, including social media and mobile phones, coupled with new methodologies like crowdsourcing, have placed the collective “wisdom of the crowd” and power of mass collaboration into the hands of average citizens and organizations. STIP’s Commons Lab seeks to advance research and independent policy analysis of these emerging technologies, with an emphasis on their social, legal, and ethical implications. The initiative does not advocate for or against specific technological platforms, rather works to ensure that these technologies are developed and used in a way that maximizes benefits while reducing risks and unintended consequences. Our work often focuses on novel governance options at the “edges” where the crowd and social media operate –between formal and informal organizations and proprietary and open-source models of data ownership and access. For more information, please see: http://www.CommonsLab.wilsoncenter.org.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was established in April 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Project is dedicated to helping ensure that as nanotechnologies advance, possible risks are minimized, public and consumer engagement remains strong, and the potential benefits of these new technologies are realized. Nanotechnologies are hailed by many as the next industrial revolution. They promise to change everything from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear, from the medical treatments our doctors can offer to our energy sources and workplaces. For more information, please see: http://www.nanotechproject.org.
The Synthetic Biology Project aims to foster informed public and policy discourse concerning the advancement of synthetic biology – an emerging interdisciplinary field that uses advanced science and engineering to make or re-design living organisms, such as bacteria, so they can carry out specific functions. Synthetic biology involves making new genetic code, also known as DNA, which does not already exist in nature. The project provides independent, rigorous analysis that can inform critical decisions affecting the research, commercialization and use of synthetic biology. Its objective is to help ensure that, as synthetic biology moves forward, possible risks are minimized and benefits maximized. For more information, please visit: http://www.synbioproject.org.