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Incorporating Social And Ethical Implications Of Nanotechnology In Science, Technology And Society (Sts) Courses

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Contemporary Issues in Engineering Ethics

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.714.1 - 15.714.12



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Paper Authors

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Ahmed Khan DeVry University Orcid 16x16


Abdul Qadeer Urdu Science University

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Dr. Abdul Qadeer is the Director of Academic Planning and Development at Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology (FUUAST), Karachi. Professor Abdul Qadeer is the former Chairman of Department of Applied Physics, University of Karachi. He has more than 35 years of teaching, research and administrative experience at graduate level.

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Incorporating Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology in Science, Technology and Society (STS) Courses Abstract

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 potential effects and social implications on society. The paper highlights the approach used to teach Science, Technology and Society (STS) course at DeVry University, Addison, IL. The focus of the paper is to examine major types of nanotechnologies that should be included in the STS courses. It is vital that our students understand the importance of the effects of these powerful new technologies and develop ethical strategies for using the many new dimensions and capabilities that such new technologies reveal.

I. Introduction

Historically every new technological advance and innovation remakes the world. The time to remake the world has become shorter with every new technological revolution. The industrial revolution took almost two centuries to reshape the world, the electronics revolution around seventy years, the information revolution two decades, and innovations in biotechnology and Nanotechnology to reshape the world could be just matter of less than a decade. Historically the world was divided into the first world and the third world, but the information revolution revealed the “digital-divide,” and advances in the Nanotechnology will divide the world into the nano-have and nano-havenots1.

The nanoscale is not just another jump towards miniaturization, but a qualitatively new scale. The new behavior is dominated by quantum mechanics, material confinement in small structures, large interfacial volume fraction, and other unique properties, phenomena and processes. Many current theories of matter at the microscale will be inadequate to describe the new phenomena at the nanoscale 2.

As the global economy continues to be transformed by new technology, an intense competition will grow for intellectual capital and intellectual property. Technology will continue to drive the global and domestic GDP 3.The National Science Foundation predicts that the global marketplace for goods and services using nanotechnologies will grow to $1 trillion by 2015 and employ 2 million workers. It is estimated that by 2015 Nanotechnology will be a $3 trillion-a-year global industry. In 1997 the investment in Nanotechnology stood at $430 million to more than $9 billion in 2004. There more than 800 products in the market place that have been developed using Nanotechnology 4.

Khan, A., & Qadeer, A. (2010, June), Incorporating Social And Ethical Implications Of Nanotechnology In Science, Technology And Society (Sts) Courses Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16998

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