Friday, October 07, 2011

From Terminator to curing cancer: Wisconsin Academy talk on the societal impacts of nanotechnology

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters just posted my talk from last week on the political and societal impacts of nanotechnology:
"Recent scientific breakthroughs, such as nanotechnology, are changing the world as we know it. Gold nanoshells, for both imaging and targeting tumors, have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatments. At the same time, nanotechnology has raised concerns about what it means to create and manipulate materials at the molecular scale that do not occur in nature. With over 1,000 nano-based consumer end products entering the market in the past few years, consumer advocates, academics, and policy makers are scrambling to weigh the risks and benefits of this new technology and its applications. How do we form opinions even though most of us lack a comprehensive scientific understanding of emerging scientific fields? How do we use our personal values and moral standards to make sense of scientific facts? And why does all of this matter for the global leadership role of the U.S.--both economically and technologically--in a rapidly changing post 9-11world? Join Dietram Scheufele at the 2011 Wisconsin Science Festival for a crash course on making sense of breakthrough technologies that have the potential to transform virtually all aspects of our everyday lives."

Academy Evenings with Dietram Scheufele from Jason A. Smith on Vimeo