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Nanotechnology: Content and Context

SOC 242W

Nanotechnology: Content and Context

SOC 242W

Course Description

Prerequisite: READING LEVEL 2 or WRITING LEVEL 2. Explores nanotechnology and its impact on society. Discusses the current status of nanotechnology and projected technologies and applications. Focuses on the societal implications of emerging technologies and their impact on social institutions. Includes how technological change in the past has altered societies, and considers how possible future changes predicted with the accomplishment of nanofabrication and other nanotechnologies may impact societies. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Explain the principles of nanotechnology from the perspective of an informed non-scientist.

Objectives:

  • Identify the main elements of nanotechnology.
  • Differentiate between the principles and practices of current macrotechnologies and discuss their applications in society.
  • Differentiate between the principles and practices of current nanotechnology and discuss its applications in society.
  • Explore the differences in the physical laws of matter at the nano as opposed to macro level.
  • Identify measurement obstacles used when working at the nano scale.

Demonstrate an understanding of the current applications of nanotechnology.

Objectives:

  • Describe biomedical and other commercial applications of nanotechnology.
  • List the main issues encountered when moving research at the nanoscale to viable commercial applications.
  • Identify current manufacturing and production techniques.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of projected applications of nanotechnology.

Demonstrate an understanding of projected applications of nanotechnology.

Objectives:

  • Identify areas of predicted usage such as nanofabrication, biomedical applications (respirocytes and microbivores), etc.
  • Identify techniques needed for implementation of current and future research into commercially viable products/processes.
  • Discuss issues identified when working at the quantum level.

Demonstrate an understanding of the societal issues surrounding nanotechnology

Objectives:

  • Identify societal issues raised based on advances in nanotechnology.
  • Discuss the impact of societal concerns on nanotechnology research and development.
  • Review current issues of emerging technology such as stem cells and cloning and how societal concerns have impacted research in those areas.
  • Understand the fears and concerns of the general public regarding nanotechnology and apply that knowledge in an informed, thoughtful, and effective manner to organizations that need to deal with funding and political and social policies.
  • Compare and contrast the benefit to society with the costs and risks specifically associated with emerging technologies.
  • Explore how society can evaluate nanotechnology applications.
  • Research the current status of nanotechnology in other nations.

Access, analyze and use information needed for the implementation of nanotechnology within society.

Objectives:

  • Identify through written and oral communication key components of the nanotechnology elements and issues.
  • Differentiate between long and short term activities needed for the implementation of nanotechnology.
  • Critically analyze information needed to become informed consumers and electorate with regard to emergent technology.