Societal and Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology

The Cornell NanoScale Facility seeks the integration and development of a social and ethical consciousness throughout the breadth of network activities while becoming the nation's leading open-access research facility for the study of science.

Science and engineering are major social forces, and the role and the impact of science and engineering are immense. With its vast user community conducting research in areas that will have large impacts on society, CNF has a vital role to play in the learning, understanding, development of a societal and ethical consciousness of the implications of the research and development.

As an open research facility, a major technical resource with a large community of researchers, and an instrument for seeding national-scale change, CNF provides many opportunities for research related to SEI, including learning from debates within the community regarding the ethical implications of the research and development.

During new user orientation, time is devoted to an SEI discussion. Researchers examine ways to stimulate more reflection about societal and ethical issues through communication among scientists and members of the public. Points of emphasis include facilitating intellectual exchange, openness, the sharing of information, and the influences on public attitudes.

The five posters in the following image gallery were created via a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CNF REU) Program project and are available for your use.

SEI Posters