What would it mean if biological and non-biological systems were not just fully connectable but fully interchangeable? That’s one of the questions that nanotechnology poses for us. More than any other field of scientific inquiry, nanotechnology operates at the basic scales of biology. DNA, for example, has a rough width of 2.5 nm. Viruses are roughly 20 to 250 nm. A bacteria is roughly 1000 nm. So, nanotechnology spans from the scale of individual biological molecules through the scale of simple biological systems to the scale of living cells.
NISE Network Blog
Earth Day is April 22nd, and there are lots of potential Earth Day - nano ties. Here's a sample of resources, activities, and articles that might be relevant:
→ Energy (general)
We'll be at both the Materials Research Society's Meeting in San Francisco and the Association of Children's Museums Interactivity 2010 Annual Meeting in St. Paul, MN this spring.
- MRS - April 5 - 9 There are three different NISE Net-related professional development seminars: Technical Poster Design Seminar, Mastering Science Presentations Instructional Seminar, and Crafting Successful Broader Impacts Plans for NSF Proposals. You can also catch MRS and NISE Net staff at a bunch of education and outreach events.
- ACM - May 5 There's still space and travel subsidy funding available for the ACM Big Thoughts about Super-Small: Nano in Children’s Museums pre-conference workshop. The workshop is Wednesday, May 5th from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Get more information about the workshop and the agenda here.
The NISE Net is sponsoring a bunch of professional development opportunities at the upcoming Materials Research Society Spring Meeting in San Francisco, April 5 - 9. Admission is included in meeting registration for all of these workshops, no additional registration is required.
Here are the workshops:
(New!) Technical Poster Design Seminar
Richard Souza, who is leading the Materials Research Society's involvement in the NISE Network, forwarded me this announcement about a small grant opportunity open to our partners. There's more information below, but please note that the application due date is April 1. The grant is for organizing outreach activities in connection with the release of Making Stuff, a PBS tv series on materials science. One of the four episodes is focused on nanotechnology, and nano will be a common thread throughout the segments.
If you're a researcher, there's a big difference between talking about nano with fellow classmates, colleagues, or professors, and talking about nano with hundreds of Museum of Science visitors on a Saturday afternoon. NanoDays at our institution generally means lots of help from a cadre of graduate students. As smart and enthusiastic as our volunteers are, they're also often new to doing demonstrations and activities with public audiences.
Thanks, everyone, for your great comments to the first RWN post! Keep 'em coming. I'll respond there and in future posts. The question for today is: why does nano matter?
NSF's Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC) gets a provocative re-examination in a special issue of the British journal Social Epistemology, and in that issue, the NISE Net's focus on science museum - research center partnerships is included as a model for authenticating and reinforcing the intentions of the BIC framers.