Science and Technology Innovation Program
David Rejeski Testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Leaders in disaster response are finding it necessary to adapt to a new reality. Although community actions have always been the core of the recovery process, collective action from the grassroots has changed response operations in ways that few would have predicted. Using new tools that interconnect over expanding mobile networks, citizens can exchange information via maps and social media, then mobilize thousands of people to collect, analyze, and act on that information. Sometimes, community-sourced intelligence may be fresher and more accurate than the information given to the responders who provide aid. This report explores approaches to the questions that commonly emerge when building an interface between the grassroots and government agencies, with a particular focus on the accompanying legal, policy, and technology challenges.
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.”
Nanotechnology promises to affect virtually all aspects of our daily lives, from consumer products and food to medicine and energy, and yet the majority of Americans still know little to nothing about it. As part of its mission to improve public awareness, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies uses new media to convey complex technological applications and implications to a public still puzzled about basic science.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of HealthThe Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 as an effort by researchers from around the world to map and sequence the human genome—the totality of human DNA—as well as the genomes of important experimental organisms, like yeast, the nematode worm, and mouse. In 2000, the collaborators in the HGP announced the completion of a draft revealing the sequence of 90 percent of human DNA. In a Director's Forum, Dr. Francis Collins discussed the initial analysis of the human genome sequence, its medical benefits as well as its social, legal, and ethical implications.
View Recent action in Congress to reauthorize the U.S. federal nanotechnology research program offers the chance to address the social and ethical issues concerning the emerging scientific field, experts say. “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University philosophy professor and author of a new report funded by the Project and the National Science Foundation. The report emphasizes ways in which such topics intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities, including science and technology policy, as well as research funding, regulation and work on public engagement.
The application of nano-scale technologies is beginning to dramatically impact both how we produce and conserve energy. How far can these technologies take us on the road towards energy independence? In this seminar, a panel of industry experts explored a wide range of technologies, ranging from photovoltaics to lighting and clean coal technology.
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.