We scientists and innovators should just accept the idea that when it comes to new and emerging technologies that at some point along the way we are going to “cock it up.” The public knows it will happen and we can build a more trusting relationship with the public if we fess up to it in advance. This is one idea expressed today at a conference organized by Andrew Maynard at the University of Michigan.
Observations and Insights
The National Science Foundation has asked CAISE (Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education) to explore creating a focus on networks at it's PI Summit in the spring. CAISE is using the ASTC session that NISE Net Manager Vrylena Olney proposed, with me as moderator, as a jumping off point for their planning their network strand, along with a meeting in DC in November.
Research on publications and patent applications filed by both large and small corporations illustrates the trends in commercialization of nanotechnology -- to what extent and in what fields ideas are turning into commercial products. Jan Youtie of Georgia Tech presented the following slide at a workshop on Nanotechnology, Business, and Anticipatory Governance organized by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University today. I thought you might enjoy seeing it. (Click on the image to see it full size.)
Sheets of carbon nanotube material 4 yards wide and 100 yards long! Two kilometer spools of carbon nanotube yarn! Mercedes adjustable tint sunroofs! Mobile phone charging shoulder bags. Powerplastic! All of these were featured at NanoDays in Boston today.
For NSF's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Grantee Meeting last month, I put together a poster on the NISE Net. It's an overview of what the NISE Net. I find it useful to have this in my office. I can use it as a visual for a quick answer to the question "What is the NISE Net?"
Three Presidential Science and Technology Advisors opened the NNI Innovation Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, today. The Summit was a kind of 10th birthday party for the National Nanotechnology Initiative. I was surprised at how much of this opening discussion focused on education.
Joan Straumanis of NSF's Science of Learning Centers program had a neat little slide in her presentation today at the NSE Grantee's meeting at NSF. She says that research in learning shows that if your goal is getting people to learn something:
Expert explanation . . . is not as effective as
Peer explanation . . . which is not as effective as
Self explanation . . . which is not as effective as
Teaching another . . . even when that other is a computer-generated avatar
This chart says it all (click on it to see a version large enough to read):
This chart was part of Mike Roco's presentation at the 2010 NSF NSE Grantee Meeting.