By Keith Ostfeld of the Children's Museum of Houston
Nano, oh nano
With surface area so
Small, but big impact
And here's an activity about surface area: Exploring Properties: Surface Area
I knew the NISE Net was special. But even I did not expect this. Only one day after the Nano Bite e-newsletter went out, I am happy to announce that we have our first ever nano sestina. I am verklempt.
The National Institutes of Health maintains a 30 billion dollar portfolio of health and biomedical research, a yearly budget that roundly trumps that of the National Science Foundation (about 7 billion) and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (1.6 billion). Although NIH has no “Broader Impacts” criterion in its RFPs, it does expect researchers to contribute to education and outreach. This is fairly fertile territory for science museums to explore, perhaps through nurturing relationships with local NIH-funded research institutes. Now there's an interesting new development.
(A confession: Brad Herring sent me a link to this video months ago and I carefully filed it away to include in a later blog post and in the newsletter. Then I forgot about it until Brad very graciously mentioned it last week. My apologies.)
There's been some debate about the safety of nano-sized particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreens-- one of the scenarios discussed in the NISE Net's Nanomedicine in Healthcare forum relates to using nano-sized particles of zinc oxide in sunscreen. However, one consumer group recently weighed in that maybe nano sunscreens are okay.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendment Act has not exactly taken a high priority in the 111th Congress, especially set against the backdrop of the economic turmoil of the last six months. July 6th's nanotech caucus briefing, titled simply “Understanding the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI),” is the first hint in months that this piece of legislation may be ready to move after being stalled for almost a full year. So what are the various versions of the NNI Amendment Act, and where do they stand?
Members of the NISE Net Program group and faculty and students at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University are teaming up to demonstrate and discuss potential collaborations between the social science community and the informal science education community at a conference of the Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies in Seattle in early September.