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Home > Press > Briefing before the U.S. Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus

Abstract:
WHAT:
Briefing before the U.S. Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus
Nanotechnology and the Public: New Data for Decision Makers
Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, and 13 recognized scholars
studying societal implications of nanotechnology will brief the U.S. Congressional
Nanotechnology Caucus, with a projected attendance of 40 congressional staff and other
federal policymakers. The Caucus co-chairs are Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Richard
Burr (R-NC), Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX). The briefing has
been organized by the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State
University (CNS-ASU), in collaboration with the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus
and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Briefing before the U.S. Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus

Washington, DC | Posted on March 5th, 2009

WHEN:
Monday, March 9, 2009
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562
Constitution Avenue & First Street, NE

AGENDA:

2:00 p.m. Welcome

Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University

2:05 p.m. Public Understanding of and Attitudes toward

Nanotechnology: Overview
Julia Moore, deputy director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies - a joint
initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew
Charitable Trusts
Dietram A. Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at the University of
Wisconsin and senior investigator with CNS-ASU.

2:25 p.m. Publics and Nano Risk

Barbara Herr Harthorn, professor of feminist studies, anthropology and sociology at
University of California at Santa Barbara and director of the NSF-funded Center for
Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB
Dan Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law at Yale Law School and a
member of the Cultural Cognition Project

2:45 p.m. Public Engagement: National Citizens' Technology Forum

David H. Guston, professor of political science, co-director of the Consortium for
Science, Policy and Outcomes, and director of the NSF-funded CNS-ASU
Michael D. Cobb, associate professor of political science at North Carolina State
University and a senior investigator with CNS-ASU

Media Alert
March 3, 2009
Media Contact: Cathy Arnold, ASU
(480) 965-0555 /
WHAT:
Briefing before the U.S. Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus
Nanotechnology and the Public: New Data for Decision Makers
Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, and 13 recognized scholars
studying societal implications of nanotechnology will brief the U.S. Congressional
Nanotechnology Caucus, with a projected attendance of 40 congressional staff and other
federal policymakers. The Caucus co-chairs are Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Richard
Burr (R-NC), Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX). The briefing has
been organized by the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State
University (CNS-ASU), in collaboration with the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus
and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
WHEN:
Monday, March 9, 2009
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562
Constitution Avenue & First Street, NE
AGENDA:
2:00 p.m. Welcome
Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University
2:05 p.m. Public Understanding of and Attitudes toward
Nanotechnology: Overview
Julia Moore, deputy director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies - a joint
initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew
Charitable Trusts
Dietram A. Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at the University of
Wisconsin and senior investigator with CNS-ASU.
2:25 p.m. Publics and Nano Risk
Barbara Herr Harthorn, professor of feminist studies, anthropology and sociology at
University of California at Santa Barbara and director of the NSF-funded Center for
Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB
Dan Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law at Yale Law School and a
member of the Cultural Cognition Project
2:45 p.m. Public Engagement: National Citizens' Technology Forum
David H. Guston, professor of political science, co-director of the Consortium for
Science, Policy and Outcomes, and director of the NSF-funded CNS-ASU
Michael D. Cobb, associate professor of political science at North Carolina State
University and a senior investigator with CNS-ASU

3:00 p.m. Public Engagement: Museums' and Science Centers' Forums

Larry Bell, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at the Museum of
Science in Boston and director of the NSF-funded Nano-scale Informal Science
Education Network (NISE Net)
Christine Reich, manager of research and evaluation at the Museum of Science,
Boston, and leader of the evaluation team and the diversity, equity and access team
of NISE Net

• Each panel will include presentations and discussion. The panels will be followed by
refreshments and a 45-minute open conversation with the panelists and other related
researchers, including:

Donald Braman, George Washington University School of Law
Joseph Conti, University of California, Santa Barbara
Elizabeth Corley, Arizona State University
Jason Delborne, Colorado School of Mines
Mark Philbrick, University of California, Berkeley

MEDIA:

Representatives of the media are invited to attend and cover the briefing.
Please let Cathy Arnold (ASU) know that you will be covering the event:
or (480) 965-0555.

####

About Arizona State University
CNS-ASU is one of two centers funded by the National Science Foundation to study societal implications and outcomes of nanotechnology. Designed as a boundary organization at the interface of science and society, CNS-ASU provides an operational model for a new way to organize research through improved reflexivity and social learning. This can signal emerging problems, enable anticipatory governance, and, through improved contextual awareness, guide trajectories of nano-scale science and engineering (NSE) knowledge and innovation toward socially desirable outcomes, and away from undesirable ones. In pursuit of this broadest impact, CNS-ASU trains a cadre of interdisciplinary researchers to engage the complex societal implications of NSE; catalyzes more diverse, comprehensive and adventurous interactions among a wide variety of publics potentially interested in and affected by NSE; and creates new levels of awareness about NSE-in-society among decision makers, ranging from consumers to scientists to high level policy makers.

About the Participants & Presentations Larry Bell’s briefing presentation will present an overview of NISE Net’s activities to engage the public in learning about nano-scale science, engineering and technology, including its catalog of informal educational materials, capacity raising activities, and NanoDays.

Bell is senior vice president for strategic initiatives at the Museum of Science in Boston and director of the NSF-funded Nano-scale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net). NISE Net is a network of science museums and researchers working to raise public awareness, understanding, and engagement with nano-scale science, engineering, and technology.

Donald Braman is associate professor of law at the George Washington University School of Law. He also is a member of the NSF-funded Cultural Cognition Project (CCP), an interdisciplinary team of scholars studying risk perception.

Michael D. Cobb’s briefing presentation will report on data from both the National Citizens’ Technology Forum and the subsequent national public opinion poll about public values toward nanotechnology and human enhancement. These data suggest, among other findings, that the public remains hopeful about potential therapeutic advances but that upon deliberation they disfavor many particular potential enhancements.

Cobb is associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University and a senior investigator with the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), where he was a leader on the team that conducted the National Citizens’ Technology Forum in March 2008 and the subsequent national survey on nanotechnology and human enhancement. He is studying how public perceptions of emerging nanotechnologies are affected by learning, framing and deliberation.


Joseph Conti is a post-doctoral fellow with the American Bar Foundation. In 2008, he received his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a graduate fellow in the risk perception and social movements research group at the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-UCSB).

Elizabeth A. Corley is associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and a co-principal investigator at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), where she also is a leader of the public opinion and values research team.

Michael M. Crow became the 16th president of Arizona State University on July 1, 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact. Under his direction, the university pursues teaching, research, and creative excellence focused on the major challenges and questions of our time, as well as those central to the building of a sustainable environment and economy for Arizona. He has committed the university to global engagement and to setting a new standard for public service. Prior to joining ASU, Crow was executive vice provost of Columbia University, where he oversaw Columbia’s research enterprise and technology transfer operations. A fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is the author of books and articles relating to the analysis of research organizations and science and technology policy.

Jason Delborne, assistant professor of liberal arts and international studies at the Colorado School of Mines, conducts research on highly politicized scientific controversies. In 2008, Delborne coordinated the National Citizens’ Technology Forum in Madison, Wisconsin – bringing together everyday citizens to discuss the impacts of nanotechnology on technologies of human enhancement.

David H. Guston’s briefing presentation will provide an overview of the National Citizens’ Technology Forum on nanotechnology and human enhancement and describe strong evidence of its high-quality deliberation, including opinion holding, substantive learning, consensus formation, and feelings of efficacy, based on pre- and post-event surveys.

Guston is professor of political science, co-director of ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO), and director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU). He has served on the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and co-chaired the 2008 Gordon Research Conference on “Governing Emerging Technologies.”

Barbara Herr Harthorn’s briefing presentation will report findings from deliberation and survey research on factors shaping emergent nanotech risk perception with positive orientation to benefits, but noting implications of on-going low awareness and malleability, application-specific response, and trust.

Harthorn is professor of feminist studies, anthropology and sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also directs the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-UCSB) and leads its interdisciplinary, international risk perception research team. CNS-UCSB researchers have conducted cross-national deliberation research in the United States and the United Kingdom and experimental survey research on emergent views in the United States of nanotechnologies for health and energy.

Dan M. Kahan’s briefing presentation will review key findings in experimental studies that show that individuals react to balanced information about nanotechnology risks in a manner that reflects their cultural predispositions toward environmental risks generally and he will discuss the need for research aimed at avoiding cultural polarization as the public learns more about nanotechnology.

Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard professor of law at Yale Law School, is a member of the NSF-funded Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars studying risk perception. CCP researchers, in studies supported by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, have conducted a series of experiments examining how ordinary members of the public process information relating to nanotechnology risks and benefits.

Julia Moore’s briefing presentation will address the conflicting perceptions of nanotechnology benefits and risks to help the technology avoid the fate of stem cell research, food irradiation, evolution and genetically-modified food.

Moore is deputy director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies – a joint initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Moore was senior advisor in the Office of International Science & Engineering (2003-2005) and director of legislative & public affairs (1995-2000) at the National Science Foundation. For three years (2000-2003), Moore was a public policy scholar at the Wilson Center working in Washington, D.C., and London on the genetically-modified food controversy.

Mark Philbrick is a doctoral candidate in the department of environmental science, policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the governance of the environmental implications and applications of emerging technologies. In particular, his dissertation explores new policies and strategies for facilitating the development and deployment of nanoscale technologies that yield public goods. Additionally, he has over two decades of experience in the high-tech and environmental industries, including ten years as head of a consulting firm.


Christine Reich’s briefing presentation will present an overview of the work of the five-museum NISE Net Forum team, which has experimented with programs to involve the public in dialogue about the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. She also will review evaluation findings that indicate how such activities impact the public’s views and behaviors.

Reich heads research and evaluation at the Museum of Science, Boston, and leads both the evaluation team and the diversity, equity and access team of the NSF-funded Nano-scale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net). She has guided the evaluation work of NISE Net Forum programs, which engage the public in discussion, dialogue and deliberation about the societal implications, both benefits and risks, of nanotechnology.

Dietram A. Scheufele’s briefing presentation will provide an overview of the public opinion dynamics surrounding nanotechnology, including perceptions of nano-related risks among experts and the general public, as well as views on regulatory policy proposals.

Scheufele is professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin. He is a former member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and currently serves on the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a joint committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Bar Association. He also is a leader of the public opinion and values research team of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU).

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Cathy Arnold
ASU
(480) 965-0555

Copyright © Arizona State University

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