Staff training materials for Nano & Society workshop. The workshop focused on preparing museum educators to engage the public in conversations about the relationship between nanotechnology and society. Workshop participants learned new hands-on activities, full-length programs, and ideas for facilitating visitor experiences in the Nano mini-exhibition. The workshop provided specific training and skill-building in nano and society content, conversation facilitation, and improving and learning from professional practice (Team Based Inquiry).
This program examines and explores social and ethical issues of consumer products from the past, present and future. Audience members are asked to weigh the risks versus the benefits. The audience members are responsible for making choices on what products to buy, question, or not buy for themselves, their families, and their communities in this fun and interactive show.
A guide to creating informal public conversations about Nanoscience
This 50-minute program includes an introduction to the nanoscale science, conversation time for the participants and 2 ten-minute plays that stimulate conversation about the impact the field of nanoscale science may have on our lives. It also gets the audience thinking about how we should respond -- both individually and collectively -- to those potential impacts. This theater program was performed at the Science Museum of Minnesota and as an outreach program for high school students. The plays have also been performed individually as part of forums.
This 7-minute video was developed as part of the Building with Biology project and is designed to help create conversations in museums among scientists and public audiences about the emerging field of synthetic biology and its societal implications.
Nano and Society Case Study of a Research-to-Practice Partnership between University Scientists and Museum Professionals - 2014
This case study conducted by SRI Education examined how complex and potentially controversial science ideas are translated for the public through a research-to-practice partnership between university scientists and museum professionals, collaborating to address a problem of educational practice, with mutual benefits.
Theoretical Physicist, Michio Kaku addresses the question of the possibility of utopia, the perfect society that people have tried to create throughout history. These dreams have not been realized because we have scarcity. However, now we have nanotechnology, and with nanotechnology, perhaps, says Dr. Michio Kaku, maybe in 100 years, we'll have something called the replicator, which will create enormous abundance. (5:42 min)
NanOpinion has developed an educational program in collaboration with scientists and teachers, which has been carried out in parallel to the European Consultation on nanotechnologies. The project brings together 17 partners from 11 countries with the aim of monitoring public opinion on what we hope from innovation with nanotechnologies.
This guide is focused on “three big ideas” that can provide a framework to help museum staff and visitors feel empowered to reflect on the relevance of nanotechnology in their lives through open-ended conversation. The guide considers how new nanotechnologies may affect people and the societies they live in and create. The three big ideas are illustrated with related videos and hands-on activities and further explored through very brief case studies of three nanospecific technologies, providing further examples of conversations that might occur on a museum floor.
Like all new technologies, nanotechnology has costs, risks, and benefits we cannot always predict. The Would You Buy That? stage presentation examines and explores ways our consumer behavior both impacts and is impacted by new technology. By looking at historical examples and current and future nanotechnologies, audience members weigh the risks versus the benefits and make group purchase decisions. Sometimes we need to stop and think more about a consumer decision.