Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Nanotechnology: Changing The Way We Teach

Nanotechnology: Changing The Way We Teach
18 May 2005

How can we make sure our schools and colleges turn out a new generation equipped to handle new and unfolding technologies? That's the question posed by scientist and futures thinker Professor Akhlesh Lakhtakia in a public seminar at Waikato Management School on Monday 23 May.

Professor Lakhtakia is Distinguished Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University and Adjunct Professor of Physics at London University's Imperial College. In his presentation, "Taking Nanotechnology to Schools", Professor Lakhtakia will discuss how the vast potential of nanotechnology opens up new ways of integrating sciences and the humanities.

"Nanotechnology - which is all about manipulating matter at the infinitesimal nanoscale -- is expected to radically alter the human condition within the next twenty years," says Professor Lakhtakia. "Human cultures don't change that fast, so it's imperative we begin to think about the social, legal and ethical changes that may emerge."

Prof Lakhtakia predicts that the convergence of nanotechnologies, information technologies and biotechnologies will result in new medical treatments, monitoring systems for safety-critical structures, such as dams, buildings, ships and aircraft, and energy-efficient production systems that produce very little waste.

But there are nightmare scenarios too, he warns. "We need watchdog groups to make sure governments don't erode individual rights and privacy, and we need laws to curb the powers of the controllers of the technologies over their users.

"To get our heads around the implications of these new technologies, we need to educate people to understand both the science and the social, ethical, legal and political issues they raise," argues Professor Lakhtakia.

He proposes integrating technosciences and humanities in education so that both future technoscientists and non-technoscientists can develop a common language.

To do this, Professor Lakhtakia advocates what he calls "just-in-time" education (JITE) - individual or team projects which require the students to gather information from many different sources to solve multidisciplinary problems.

"It's very different to "just-in-case" learning," he says. "There, we teach topics just in case they turn out to be useful to students. What I'm suggesting is supplementation by a broader, integrated form of educational experiences. That way we can equip future generations with the analytical tools they'll need to cope with our rapidly changing world."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Wool Exports Jump To The Highest In More Than A Decade

New Zealand wool exports jumped to their highest level in more than a decade in June, aided by a lower currency and strong demand from China, the nation’s largest market. More>>

ALSO:

Surreal Estate: Home Values Rise At Fastest Rate In Seven Years

The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows that nationwide residential property values for July have increased 10.1% over the past year which is the fastest annual rate since 2007... The Auckland market has increased 18.8% year on year. More>>

ALSO:

New Employment Laws: Talley’s AFFCO Workers To Strike

The decision comes after the Talley’s owned company walked away from mediation last week and applied to end bargaining under the government’s new employment laws - the first such application since the law came into effect. More>>

ALSO:

Private Action: Employer Pleads Guilty Over Forestry Death

The CTU has always known that the death of forestry worker Charles Finlay was due to the poor health and safety practices of his employer... "The CTU, with the support of Charles’s family, needed to take this ground breaking private prosecution." More>>

ICT Innovation: Six NZ Finalists In World Summit Awards

The awards are a global showcase of 40 projects, across eight categories, with a special emphasis on those which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of communities. New Zealand has finalists in six of the eight categories. More>>

ALSO:

Final Frontier: Rocket Lab And NASA Sign Commercial Space Launch Agreement

Rocket Lab has signed a Commercial Space Launch Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agreement enables Rocket Lab to use NASA resources - including personnel, facilities and equipment - for launch and reentry efforts. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news