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Examining The Impact Of Nanotechnologies For Science, Technology And Society (Sts) Students

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum & non-Technical Skills

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.608.1 - 11.608.14



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Paper Authors


Ahmed Khan DeVry University-Addison Orcid 16x16

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Ahmed S. Khan, Ph.D. is a senior Professor in the EET dept. at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He received his M.Sc (applied physics) from University of Karachi, an MSEE from Michigan Technological University, and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. He received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. His research interests are in the areas of Fiber Optics Communications, faculty development, and outcomes assessment, and, Internet and distance education. He is author of “The Telecommunications Fact Book” and co-author of “Technology and Society: Crossroads to the 21st Century” and “Technology and Society: A Bridge to the 21st Century.” He is a member of IEEE, ASEE, ASQ, and LIA.

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Barbara Eichler DeVry University

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Dr. Barbara Eichler is a senior professor in the General Education department at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. Dr. Eichler earned her Ed.D. from National Louis University in adult education. She has co-authored three books on Technology and Society.

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John Morello DeVry University

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Dr. John Morello is a professor of history at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He holds a B.A and M.A in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in American History from University of Illinois at Chicago. He has co-authored three books on Technology and Society.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Examining the Impact of Nanotechnologies for Science, Technology and Society (STS) Students


This paper presents an overview of new and emerging nanotechnologies and their societal and ethical implications to address 21st Century challenges and issues. The discussion includes a range of different types of nanotechnologies and their effects and potential effects on markets, cultures, resources, and ethics on local and global levels. The paper highlights the approaches of a Science, Technology and Society (STS) course which is taught in a baccalaureate program at DeVry University entitled Technology, Society and Culture.

The focus of the paper is to examine major types of nanotechnologies and how they develop ramifications in other arenas such as economics, values and ethical decisions. It is vital that our students understand the importance of the effects of these powerful new technologies and provide ethical strategies for using the many new dimensions and capabilities that such new technologies reveal. The paper also presents the results of a survey that was conducted to determine the student perceptions about the impact of nanatechnology on society.

In spite of the invisible or sub-microscopic nature of nanotechnology products, their power and impact will be ubiquitous and must be addressed for sustainability, economic and cultural equity, and green and ethical engineering. Applying the foundations of ethics to new technological challenges brings to engineering reality the importance and relevance of the inclusion of such sustainability and ethical principles.

The STS course at DeVry is a required capstone course to all of our students in all of our curricula with special emphasis in all fields on the appropriate design and implications of technologies so that responsible technological insight is achieved. Using nanotechnology as an urgent example for responsible decision making, a number of teaching and learning tools are used including: cultural field studies, case studies, modeling, and flow charts. Such approaches promote not only concept and practical awareness but also lead to constructivist understanding of macro and micro problems of present and future technologies and issues.

Khan, A., & Eichler, B., & Morello, J. (2006, June), Examining The Impact Of Nanotechnologies For Science, Technology And Society (Sts) Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--961

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015