Nanotechnology and Society: A discussion-based undergraduate course

July 8th, 2005  |  Published in All, Nanotechnology, Papers, Preprints, Technology and Society

Nanotechnology and Society: A discussion-based undergraduate course

Charles Tahan (Physics), Ricky Leung (Sociology), G. M. Zenner (MRSEC), K. D. Ellison (Graduate School), W. C. Crone (Engineering Physics), Clark A. Miller (LaFollette School of Public Affairs), (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Nanotechnology has emerged as a broad, exciting, yet ill-defined field of scientific research and technological innovation. There are important questions about the technology’s potential economic, social, and environmental implications. We discuss an undergraduate course on nanoscience and nanotechnology for students from a wide range of disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and engineering. The course explores these questions and the broader place of technology in contemporary societies. The course is built around active learning methods and seeks to develop the students’ critical thinking skills, written and verbal communication abilities, and general knowledge of nanoscience and nanoengineering concepts. Continuous assessment was used to gain information about the effectiveness of class discussions and enhancement of student understanding of the interaction between nanotechnology and society.

Comments: 7 pages, 1 figure. Edited and shortened for readability. Visit this http URL for more information
Subjects: Physics and Society (physics.soc-ph); Physics Education (physics.ed-ph)
Journal reference: Am. J. Phys. 74, 4 (April 2006)
Cite as: arXiv:physics/0507065v2 [physics.soc-ph]

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