Nanoscience has garnered billions of dollars of funding and has been hailed as ushering in the Next Industrial Revolution. But, for such a richly anticipated field, it has made its way into products all around us – from odor-eating socks to cosmetics and medications – without much fanfare, while popular media entertain us with visions of nanotechnology as cornucopia or Armageddon. Somewhere in between are social scientists, ethicists and others reflecting on our understanding of the broad implications of nanotechnology, gauging its promises and risks, assessing the impacts of policy decisions, and communicating the meaning of nanoscience research. The newly-released two-volume Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society is the result. Edited by David H. Guston, the director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, this resource isn't designed for the scientist or engineer, but rather for the rest of us who have plenty of questions about nanotechnology but are afraid to ask.
The Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, published by SAGE Publications, Inc., contains approximately 425 signed entries by contributors from a variety of disciplines – sociology and psychology, economics and business, science and engineering, computing and information technology, philosophy, ethics, public policy, and more. They bring varied perspectives to the questions of nanotechnology in society in such general topic areas as: ethical issues; social issues; environmental issues; law, policy and regulation; agriculture and food safety; health, safety, and medical ethics; commercial and economic issues; educational and training issues; computing and information technology; philosophy and the human condition; national security and civil liberties; military uses and issues; converging technologies; risk assessment; and technology "haves" and "have-nots." The Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, accessible and jargon-free, also includes helpful aids such as a chronology, a resource guide and a glossary.
Among the contributors to the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society are 26 scholars from Arizona State University and beyond who are affiliated with the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-ASU), which is funded by the National Science Foundation:
Braden Allenby, ASU
Javiera Barandiaran, University of California, Berkeley
Daniel Barben, RWTH Aachen University
Troy Benn, ASU
Shannon Conley, ASU
Elizabeth A. Corley, ASU
Susan Cozzens, Georgia Tech
Erik Fisher, ASU
Patrick Hamlett, North Carolina State University
Matthew Harsh, ASU
Sean Hays, ASU
Shirley Ho, University of Wisconsin
Daniel Lee Kleinman, University of Wisconsin
Gary Marchant, ASU
Richard Milford, ASU
Mark Philbrick, University of California, Berkeley
Alan L. Porter, Georgia Tech
Juan D. Rogers, Georgia Tech
Cynthia Selin, ASU
Dietram Scheufele, University of Wisconsin
Philip Shapira, Georgia Tech
Catherine Slade, ASU and University of Georgia
Li Tang, Georgia Tech
Jue Wang, Florida International University
Jameson Wetmore, ASU
Gregor Wolbring, University of Calgary
For more information about the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, visit SAGE Publications online at http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book233289&.
The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University is a federally-funded academic research, education and outreach center focused on the complex societal relations forming around nanoscale science and engineering research. It gathers scores of researchers and educators across ASU and other public research universities to pursue an ambitious array of interdisciplinary programs. Its vision is to develop new ways of producing knowledge through the collaboration of scientists and non-scientists alike, so that deliberation and decision making about nanoscale science and engineering is improved, thereby ensuring that nanotechnology advances improve the quality of life for all. CNS-ASU probes the hypothesis that a greater ability for reflexiveness – that is, social learning that expands the range of available choices – can help guide the directions of knowledge and innovation toward socially desirable outcomes, and away from undesirable ones. For more information about CNS-ASU, visit online at http://cns.asu.edu or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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