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September 2009
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g is for George

A technoscientific hubris antidote;
or, The George D. P. Carlin Endowed Professorship in Science & Technology Studies, anyone?

“Return on Astronauts”

I tend to be a bit critical of the science and technology reportage of the New York Times —to be more precise, some of the writings of Dennis Overbye published there, exemplary among them this recrement, with it’s apparent disregard of even rudimentary aspects of the history of the modern sciences— but, credit where credit […]

The Last Day of S.NET

This past Friday, on the last day of S.NET, Colin Milburn and I co-panelized under the banner of “Science Fiction and Policy.” Milburn’s the author of an already classic essay, “Nanotechnology in the Age of Posthuman Engineering: Science Fiction as Science” (2002), and his N.SET paper, “Greener on the Other Side: Science Fiction and […]

Nano R&D Code of Conduct

S.NET/Day 3 Plenary— René von Schomberg has just finished walking us through a examination of the EU Commission’s main attempt to address responsibility in the context of nanotechnoscientific R&D. As important as the question of how to assign responsibility is whether such a code will have any bite. In any case, the Commission’s […]

Nanotechnological Battlespace/Part 2

S.NET/Day 3-This is Jürgen Altmann’s respnse to MBF’s comment:

I find this assertion about a nanotechnological arms race not being a
bad thing fairly dangerous.

There is still the possibility of nation-state war. The author is correct in stating that it would be counter-productive, but still these nations prepare for war. We have an on-going arms race […]

Broome@S.NET

“Administrative failures” at Howard have pulled Taft Broome back DC more quickly than I think either of us would’ve prefered, but just before he left he assessed the conference’s “ethics” discussions thusly: “Whereas earlier instances responded to actual events (say, catastrophe or failures of professional conduct), the ethics focused upon here seems to preempt any […]

Sagans and sagans of stars

Installed this past May, the Wide Field Camera 3 is generating some terrific images now that Hubble’s back on the stellar block. Check the star thicket of Omega Centauri: fit to print, but I wonder how many taxpayers think the cost of NASA is worth it. Would you rather see NASA’s budget […]

Nano identities

Cynthia Winston’s finishing up a talk on the ethics of identity in the context of nanotechnoscience R&D and workforce development. As more than a few scholars in attendance have noted, the social studies of nanotechnoscience has yet to really come to grips with the varied ways matters of ethnicity and race mingle with emerging […]

Nanotechnological Battlespace/Part 1

S.NET/Day 2–Minutes ago Jürgen Altmann wrapped up his morning presentation of scenarios of the future of military nanotechnoscience: sobering, to put it mildly. In particular, his discussion of the enhancement of autonomous combat vehicles and micro-robots, brain-computer interface technologies and modified soldier biochemistry; his contention that US spending presently represents 80-90% of world-wide funding […]

S.NET@Seattle

The first day of the inaugural meeting of S.NET (The Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technology) has started with a proverbial bang.  Really more like a pre-bang: researchers from Arizona State’s Center for Nanotechnology in Society and G.I.T. ran a six hour-long (!) “pre-conference workshop” on “real-time technology assessment and anticipatory governance” […]