Back in October, we reported on a $314,000 grant three Arizona State University professors received from DOE to study nanotechnology regulation. It seems that grant has already begun to bear fruit, as Nanowerk reports one of the grant recipients – law professor Doug Sylvester – will be teaching a two-hour interdisciplinary class in the Spring entitled "Nanotechnology And The Law." Professor Sylvester describes the import of his class:
“It’s not just about the law, it’s about our lives,” says Sylvester, a College of Law professor and faculty fellow in the College’s Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology. “For the first time in history, we know something is coming that carries great potential and possible grave danger. The technology will revolutionize much of how we live in the world. The question becomes, how, as a society, can we prepare ourselves to best promote the benefits and prevent the risks?”
Professor Sylvester’s course will be geared toward public policy, bioengineering, medicine, law and other students, and, according to the Nanowerk article, the class is designed to encourage students to collaborate to find ways of using public policy and regulation to balance the potential threat nanotechnology may pose to the environment against the need to develop the technology.
I look forward to seeing what research comes out of this grant and out of this course.