Mines one of six cities to host public deliberation on nanotechnology

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Mines one of six cities to host public deliberation on nanotechnology

GOLDEN, Colo., Feb. 11, 2008 – The Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines, in conjunction with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado–Boulder, will host a group of 15 local citizens to discuss recent technological advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology that might lead to significant enhancements of human mental, emotional and physical abilities.

This effort to increase public participation in and guidance of scientific and technological research and development is part of a national effort being undertaken by a network of universities under the leadership of the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, which has been funded in conjunction with the National Nanotechnology Initiative. 
 

According to Mines professors Carl Mitcham and Jennifer Schneider, faculty organizers of the local discussion, the event is an exciting experiment in the enhancement of democracy to complement the enhancement of scientific knowledge and engineering power.

“It is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the need for an engaged humanities program in an applied science and engineering university,” Schneider said. 
 

Mitcham added, “it is also an effort to adapt for the U.S. context some techniques of science policy formation that have been successfully practiced especially in Denmark and the Netherlands.”

The coordinating institution for this particular citizens’ conference activity is North Carolina State University. Other participant institutions include University of California–Berkeley, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Georgia Tech and the University of New Hampshire.
 

Panelists will meet on campus during the first and last weekends of March and take part in a series of computer teleconferences during the rest of the month. The goal is to learn background information, formulate opinions, pose questions to a range of experts, and make recommendations in a report about the impacts and consequences of human enhancement technologies that will be widely circulated to government, industry and to the general public. Participants will receive an honorarium of $500 at the end of the process.

Anyone wishing to apply to become a participant in this citizens’ conference should send an email message to nctf@ncsu.edu.
 

Founded in 1874, Colorado School of Mines was established to serve the needs of the local mining industry. Today, the School has an international reputation for excellence in both engineering education and the applied sciences with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth's resources. For more information about Colorado School of Mines, visit www.mines.edu.

 
-MINES-
 

Contacts:
Carl Mitcham, 303-273-3648,
cmitcham@mines.edu
Jen Schneider, 303-273-3628, jjschnei@mines.edu


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