NISE Network Blog
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.
If you've got a few minutes to kill, check out the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry's podcast on nanotechnology. Anders Liljeholm from OMSI (a NISE Net programs team member who does a mean Evil Nanoscientist) answers questions like, "what is it?" "what can nanotechnology be used for?" and "what are scientists doing to make sure that nanotechnologies are safe?"
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.