A study on the emergence of ethical thinking in nanotechnology
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The purpose of this study is to explore how scientists perceive social and ethical implications (SEI) in the context of nanotechnology and how to best implement SEI training in laboratories. This will be explored through two studies: 1) analysis of open-ended survey data measuring nanoscientists’ perceptions and awareness of SEI and, 2) test the effectiveness of an SEI pilot training module among students participating in the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program on nanotechnology at the University of Texas at Austin. The goal of these two studies is to better understand scientists’ perception and awareness of SEI at the nanoscale and introduce training techniques to facilitate increased discussion and implementation of SEI training in the workplace and lab. In doing so, nanoscientists will be equipped with the necessary information to help them meet the SEI requirement outlined in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, and create a standard for SEI consideration in the nanotechnology field.
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