Impacts of nanotechnologies on culture and society focus of new interactive online magazine started by University of Texas at Austin students

AUSTIN, Texas—The Science, Technology and Society program (STS) introduced in August its first issue of STS Nanolog, an online forum on cultural and societal impacts of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Although there is agreement that nanoscience and nanotechnology will bring tremendous change in the near future, there is some controversy about how best to manage the risks and benefits to society. STS Nanolog’s mission is to provide an interactive space where members of the public, scientists, teachers, students and policy-makers can read about and talk about the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology. Different articles on nano are featured in each issue and participants can comment on the articles, question the writers, suggest additional readings and post their own viewpoints.

“Nanotechnology is going to change our lives completely,” said Lou Rutigliano, STS Nanolog student editor. “It’s time to start talking about it. This is an unprecedented period of time in human history, when a dialogue between scientists and the public is crucial. STS Nanolog’s goal is to foster this dialogue.”

The current issue features four diverse articles representing different viewpoints contributed by the following nanotechnology experts: Dr. Chuanbin Mao, biochemistry professor, and Dr. Sanjay Banerjee, director of Microelectronics Research Center, both from The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Karen Lozano, professor and nationally recognized engineer from The University of Texas at Pan American; Mike Treder, executive director of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology; and Dr. Sinclair T. Wang of Tainano, a nanotech consulting firm specializing in Asia.

The concept for STS Nanolog was created by students in the STS program. It was designed by Takao Inoue, an engineering doctoral student, and is edited by Rutigliano, a journalism doctoral student. STS is an academic program at The University of Texas at Austin that explores social impacts of rapid scientific and technological change. The STS program integrates approaches from the liberal arts, social sciences and humanities with science and technology.

For more information contact: Dr. Elizabeth Keating, STS program director, 512-232-7345; Lou Rutigliano, STS Nanolog editor, 512-633-1938; Leslie Jarmon, STS community engagement and outreach coordinator, 512-232-3617.