But for every optimistic forecast of nanobots to perform microsurgery or in-body sensors to monitor human health, there are doomsday scenarios of nano-chips implanted in the brain that forever alter human identity or nano-sensors publicly revealing all private places and information. How can scientists, citizens, and policy makers be adequately engaged in a dialogue about nanotechnology's potential for good and ill? How can we successfully govern nanotechnology?
On Monday, January 30, nanotechnology leaders from across the nation will gather in Tempe as ASU launches its Center for Nanotechnology in Society. The culmination of the launch event will be a Public Forum on Nanotechnology in Society from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Great Hall (Armstrong Hall) of the College of Law.
A distinguished panel of scientists, policy experts and ethicists will convene for this important discussion. The panel includes remarks from ASU President Michael Crow, David Guston, director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society; George Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute; and Jonathan Moreno, University of Virginia Professor of Biomedical Ethics and co-chair of the National Academies' committee on human embryonic stem cell research.
Guston called the event "the beginning of an unprecedented effort to expand our knowledge of how emerging technologies like nanotechnology interact with society, to train students to understand those interactions, and to involve the general public in helping to make decisions, along with scientists and engineers and policy makers, about what nanotechnology's future will be like."