NanoEthics 13 (1):37-52 (2019)

J. Jones
Biola University
In this project, we explore perceptions of the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology among US scientists who work at the nanoscale, and develop and pilot test an online training module to foster consideration of social and ethical implications in the lab. To meet our first goal, we drew qualitative insights from open-ended survey data collected from scientists affiliated with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Our data suggest that while the survey participants responded positively to the idea that consideration of SEI should be a part of the work they do, there was confusion about whether SEI refers to lab safety, research integrity, or something more. This is something we sought to address in the online training module that we developed based on that qualitative data and on feedback collected from experts in nanoethics and lab management. We then pilot tested the module with undergraduate students studying nanotechnology in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and with scientists registered to use a National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure-funded microelectronics research lab. The undergraduate data suggested that students appreciated the SEI training but wished professors and scientists would begin integrating the ideas therein into coursework and mentoring. The scientist data suggested that the module increased understanding of “social and ethical implications,” increased the perceived need to implement SEI into workplace routines, and, interestingly, heightened perceptions of risk associated with the scientists’ own work. The practical and theoretical implications of this work are discussed.
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-019-00336-5
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References found in this work BETA

Science and the Social Order.Robert K. Merton - 1938 - Philosophy of Science 5 (3):321-337.
Nanotechnology — a New Field of Ethical Inquiry?Armin Grunwald - 2005 - Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (2):187-201.

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