Reflections, commentary and analysis from Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University.
Video 5: Light Switch
About the videos:
To be an informed citizen one must not only follow the obvious social issues like taxes, international relations, and heath care, but also the research and technologies that shape our world. Understanding the big bang theory or the ways that molecules interact might be able to assist in this process, but perhaps even more important is an appreciation of the variety of ways in which science and technology affect communities and vice versa. We believe that science centers and museums, because they are both trusted and one of the few places where the general public actively engage science, could provide a space for such engagements.
The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS) and the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) have been working together over the past half decade to develop ways for museums to engage the public in discussions about the social implications of nanotechnology. The early part of the collaboration produced nano and society posters, forums, table top demonstrations, scripts, and a Frequently Asked Questions webpage. The most recent phase of the collaboration has been a series of two day workshops to train museum floor managers in ways to help their staff engage with questions about nanotechnology and society and the public. In September and October these workshops trained a hundred professionals from more than fifty different science centers and children’s museums.
To support these workshops we developed a collection of videos. They were originally designed so that some of the basic lessons from the workshop could be presented to science museum staff across the US. They weren’t meant to be stand alone products, but they do give an introduction to the ways in which emerging technologies and society are interlinked.