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

 

Housing: Affordability Drops 14%, Driven By Auckland Prices

Housing affordability across New Zealand fell 14 percent in the year ending November 2014, with Auckland’s lack of affordability set to reach levels it hit during the height of the global financial crisis, according to the latest Massey University Home Affordability Report More>>

ALSO:

The Dry: Fonterra Drops Forecast Milk Volumes By 3.3 Percent

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the worlds largest dairy exporter, reduced its milk volume forecast for the 2014-2015 season by 3.3 per cent due to the impact of dry weather on production in recent weeks. More>>

ALSO:

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news