Societal dimensions of nantechnology
Gorman, Michael E.
Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE
Vol. 23, Num. 4
Gormal and Groves note with approval that social and ethical implications of nanotechnology have been forefronted in recent policy. They propose a method for doing research that they carried out as a case study (using a graduate student) in 2003. Rather than requiring society to respond to scientific developments or to direct scientific developments, scientists should look for a coherence between technological opportunities and world problems. R. K. Catalano, graduate student at the University of Virginia, carried out research using a model that included World Ills, Engineered Devices, Material Properties and Specific Material Systems. To enable a discussion between fields, a set of necessary metaphors, a patois, grew up between the participants as research strategy was developed. Catalono's work was on a specific kind of quantum dot which can function, in future, for wound healing and the reduction of artheriosclerosis. Iterative and collaborative, the project constitutes proof-of-concept that SEIN concerns can guide and direct good research.