How do we, as a society, guide the development of nanotechnology?
Foresight Nanotech Institute, US
nanotechnology, education, evaluation, assessment, understanding, critical thinking, public understanding, costs, benefits, literacy, diffusion
Individuals, businesses, and governments evaluate nanotechnology on a spectrum from laissez faire to the precautionary principle, often without sufficient understanding of what nanotechnology is, how it works, how it is changing, or what its costs and benefits are. These evaluations, based only in part on technical merit, determine the success of any technology. How can society be educated to make rational, informed decisions when consuming, regulating, and investing? Miguel F. Aznar, author of Technology Challenged, Director of Education for the Foresight Nanotech Institute and Advisor to The Nanoethics Group, studies nanotechnology education in middle schools through college. The approach to technological literacy he has been instrumental in developing provides a contextual understanding of nanotechnology. Students as young as 10 years old gain a foundation for making rational, informed decisions by asking questions and recognizing patterns that transcend specific implementations of nanotechnology. In this talk, he will share his findings, the core strategy that he has found to be so effective, and his views on broader application for “nanotechnological literacy.”
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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract