General Public

General Public

The CHN has been a sponsor of Nanoscale Informal Science Education and Public Engagement at the Museum of Science in Boston. 

Live Presentations

Since March, 2006, approximately 144 nanotechnology-specific, CHN-sponsored presentations have been delivered on the Museum's Gordon Current Science And Technology stage to an estimated 7,695 members of the public.   

Topics have included

  • "Nanofactories of the Future," an introduction to nanomanufacturing 
  • "Small Science--Updates in Nanotechnology Research" a nanotech primer featuring updated research news and highlights 
  • "Silly Putty Body Armor," a presentation focusing on new nanotech materials for military and sports applications 
  • "The Real Adventures of Spiderman", a presentation on van der Waals forces and gecko-foot-inspired nano-structured adhesives

Live NECN Cable casts

Eight CHN-sponsored live New England Cable News updates on nanotechnology were cable cast between March, 2006, and March, 2007.  Each segment can reach up to 3.5 million homes in 1,021 New England communities (Figure 11.18). Headline topics included:  

  • Nanofiber Waterproof Breathable Fabrics 
  • Nanobumps Improve Joint Replacement 
  • Nanoantenna for Optical Data Storage 
  • Sugar-Coated Nanotubes Trap Anthrax Spores 
  • Multifunctional Nanoparticles Target Brain Tumors 
  • Strong, Stretchy Nanocomposites Mimic Spider Silk 
  • Nanotech Safety: Measuring Exposure to Nanoparticles 
  • A Nanotech Approach to Hunting Bacteria 
  • Pod casts

Nine CHN-sponsored pod casts on nanotech subjects were produced between March, 2006, and March, 2007.  The pod casts, which are available from iTunes and the Museum of Science Web site, reach an estimated 2,000 listeners and now have regular subscribers. 

YouTube.com World Wide Web experiment

In collaboration with the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE) media group, the museum developed an experimental video short to introduce kids to the nanometer scale.  The piece was tested in an interactive kiosk on the Museum floor and also posted on You Tube.  After the posting, several teachers around the country requested copies of the video to use in their classrooms. 

Nanotechnology Public Forum Events 

In collaboration with the Museum of Science Forum team, different nanotech-oriented public forums are held at the Museum of Science.  The Museum's stated goal for Forum is, "To involve more citizens of all ages and backgrounds in thinking about, asking each other about, and speaking out about the intersection of science and technology with our lives, the environment, and society at large. A more technologically literate society is a more democratic one."  In addition to receiving a basic introduction to nanotechnology from guest speaker scientists, small groups of volunteer participants wrestle with questions like:  Who should be in charge of nanotechnology regulation? How will nanotechnology impact security and privacy? What are the societal and environmental impacts of nanotechnology?