Science and Technology Innovation Program
The creators of “Budget Hero,” the popular serious game which helps people of all ages understand the federal budget and the trade-offs involved in the budgetary process, have launched an Election Edition to illuminate the budget impact of policies championed by President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney as well as those related to the impending “fiscal cliff.”
Most educators promote "hands-on" science learning. But how do children experience activities-based learning about nanotechnology—a world of atoms and molecules that's too small to see with the naked eye and that requires sophisticated electron or scanning probe microscopes?
View The ability to eliminate waste and toxins from production processes early on, to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and to remove contaminants from water is becoming an exciting reality with nanotechnology. This “green nanotechnology” involves designing nanoproducts for the environment and with the environment in mind. Last spring, stakeholders came together to participate in a series of dialogues on the topic, hosted by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. This report highlights the research breakthroughs, industry perspectives, and policy options discussed at those meetings.
Press coverage of synthetic biology in the United States and Europe increased significantly between 2008 and 2011. This report builds on the project’s earlier study of press coverage in the United States and Europe during the 2003-2008 period. The new report finds an increase in the sheer number of articles about synthetic biology. It further finds that this coverage is driven by high-profile events and that there are growing similarities in how the technology is covered in the United States and Europe. This report also highlights key recommendations from recent reports focused on the press and public engagement.
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.