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

 

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

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