Public Release: 

Nanotechnology and the media: The inside story

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

WASHINGTON--Is media coverage of nanotechnology's potential risks growing" If so, who or what is driving articles in national newspapers and newswires--environmental and consumer organizations, scientists, law makers, or industrial and financial groups" How do broadcast journalists decide to cover a nanotechnology story, especially one about possible risk-benefit tradeoffs" Do radio and television correspondents face special challenges reporting on a technology which most Americans do not know about and which is on a scale invisible to the human eye"

The Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies will explore these and other questions at a program featuring National Public Radio science and technology reporter Nell Greenfieldboyce, and Lehigh University professor Sharon M. Friedman. Ms. Greenfieldboyce, who is heard regularly on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, will offer insights about covering nanotechnology--from government oversight to nano-cosmetics. Professor Friedman will present her latest results from tracking seven years of newspaper and wire service reporting of nanotechnology risks in the United States and United Kingdom, research she does in collaboration with Brenda P. Egolf of Lehigh University.

The event and live webcast will take place on Tuesday, December 18th at 1:00 p.m. in the 5th Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson Center (www.wilsoncenter.org/directions).

*** Webcast LIVE at www.wilsoncenter.org/nano***

What: Nanotechnology & the Media: The Inside Story

Who: Nell Greenfieldboyce, Science & Technology Reporter, National Public Radio
Sharon M. Friedman, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Science and Environmental Writing Program and Associate Dean, Lehigh University
Julia A. Moore, Deputy Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Moderator

When: Tuesday, December 18th, 2007, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Lunch available at 12:30 p.m.)

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room. 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide. By 2014, Lux Research projects that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology, or about 15 percent of total global output.

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was launched in 2005 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. It is dedicated to helping business, governments, and the public anticipate and manage the possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

Media planning to cover the event should contact Sharon McCarter at (202) 691-4016 or sharon.mccarter@wilsoncenter.org.

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