Science and Technology Innovation Program
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?
If people do not know scientists or understand how they work, it follows that they are unlikely to make informed choices on public policy issues or support basic scientific research to address vital issues like climate change and conservation, writes Wilson Center Scholar Louise Lief.
Lawmakers from both parties have said the country needs a national conversation about the national debt. At an event on Capitol Hill on July 13, they embraced the popular game Budget Hero as a way to jump start that discussion.
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.
David Rejeski Testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee.
When a natural disaster occurs, government agencies, humanitarian organizations, private companies, volunteers, and others collect information about missing persons to aid the search effort. Often this processing of information about missing persons exacerbates the complexities and uncertainties of privacy rules. This report offers a roadmap to the legal and policy issues surrounding privacy and missing persons following natural disasters.
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.
The growing use of social media and other mass collaboration technologies is opening up new opportunities in disaster management efforts, but is also creating new challenges for policymakers looking to incorporate these tools into existing frameworks. The Commons Lab, part of the Science & Technology Innovation Program, hosted a September 2012 workshop bringing together emergency responders, crisis mappers, researchers, and software programmers to discuss issues surrounding the adoption of these new technologies. This report discusses the key findings, policy suggestions, and success stories that emerged during the workshop.