Nanoethics and Policy Education: a Case Study of Social Science Coursework and Student Engagement with Emerging Technologies
- 221 Downloads
The article analyzes the integration of a module on nanotechnology, ethics, and policy into a required second-year social science course at a technological university. It investigates not simply the effectiveness of student learning about the technical aspects of nanotechnology but about how issues explored in an interdisciplinary social science course might influence student opinions about the potential of nanotechnology to benefit the developing world. The authors find a correlation between student opinions about the risks and benefits of nanotechnology for the developing world with their judgment of whether nanotechnology fits comparative, historical models for development.
KeywordsEthics Nanotechnology Policy Social science Risk Ethical issues related to nanotechnology (EIRNT) Development Developing countries Undergraduate education
This work was funded by the National Science Foundation grant 1138257 and two Colorado School of Mines Research Council Undergraduate Research Fellowships. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the CSM Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Research Experience for Undergraduates and the faculty teaching Human Systems and Nature and Human Values.
- 1.Besley J, Kramer V, Priest S (2008) Expert opinion on nanotechnology: risks, benefits, and regulation. J Nanoparticle Res. 10(4):549–558Google Scholar
- 4.Invernizzi N, Foladori G (2009) Nanotechnology and the developing world: will nanotechnology overcome poverty or widen disparities?”. In: Johnson DG, Wetmore JM (eds) Technology and society: building our sociotechnical future. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 485–498Google Scholar
- 5.Kingdon JW (2003) Agendas, alternatives, and public policies, 2nd edn. Longmann, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 6.Kuzma J (2010) “Nanotechnology: piecing together the puzzle of risk.”. In: Daniel Lee Kleinman D, Jason C-H, Karen A, Handelsman J (eds) Controversies in science and technology, vol. 3: from evolution to energy. Liebert, New Rochelle, pp 243–262Google Scholar
- 8.National Academy of Engineering (2004) The engineer of 2020: visions of engineering in the new century. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- 9.National Academy of Engineering (2005) Educating the engineer of 2020: adapting engineering education to the new century. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- 10.Salamanca-Buentello F, Persad DL, Court EB, Martin DK, Daar AS, Singer PA (2009) Nanotechnology and the developing world. In: Johnson DG, Wetmore JM (eds) Technology and society: building our sociotechnical future. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 475–484Google Scholar
- 11.Sandler R (2012) Value-sensitive design and nanotechnology. In: Scott D, Francis B (eds) Debating science: deliberation, values, and the common good. Prometheus Books, Amherst, pp 205–226Google Scholar
- 15.Schummer J (2007) Impact of nanotechnologies on developing countries. In: Allhoff F, Lin P, Moor J, Weckert J (eds) Nanoethics: the ethical and social implications of nanotechnology. Wiley, New York, pp 291–307Google Scholar