Observations and Insights

ASTC to Announce Support for a PES Community of Practice

Larry Bell

ASTC is going to announce its support for a Community of Practice around Public Engagement with Science at the upcoming ASTC conference in an open session on Sunday, October 16, at 10:30 AM...

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Risk, Uncertainty, and Sustainable Innovation: New perspectives on emerging challenges

Larry Bell

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.

Participants from industry, government, academia, and non-government sectors gathered today in Ann Arbor today to explore thorny topics related to risk and emerging technologies. Rae...

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Growing Interest in Networks

Larry Bell

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.  Here's what the announcement in a recent issue of ASTC Informs ...

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Nanotechnology moves from discovery to commercialization

Larry Bell

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.)

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Nano is real! And it's not just silver and sunscreen.

Larry Bell

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.

Five years ago when we visited the Materials Research Society meeting in Boston we got some jars filled with a black powder that was supposedly carbon nanotubes. Getting some of the real stuff was exciting but there was really nothing we could do with it....

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NISE Net on one page

Larry Bell

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?"

For a larger file you can access a pdf here: http://www.nisenet.org/sites/default/files/...

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Engines of Growth and Recovery

Larry Bell

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.

 

 John Holdren, Director of President Obama's Office of Science and Technology Policy, opened the Summit with a talk about the high priority that nanotechnology research...

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Even a computer generated avatar!

Larry Bell

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

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Where has nano research money gone in 2010?

Larry Bell

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.

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Periodic Table of Nanoparticles

Larry Bell
The focus of today's sessions at NSF's meeting of nanoscale science and engineering grantees focuses on putting the science to practical use. First up this morning is nanomanufacturing. Mark Tuonimen from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst gave a talk about the Nanoscale Manufacturing Network and one of his images caught my imagination. This image, which comes from the draft Nano2 vision document on the next decade of nanoscale research, illustrates and idea that is sometimes referred to as a periodic table of nanoparticles.

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