ERIC Number: EJ723366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Teaching Societal and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology to Engineering Students through Science Fiction
Berne, Rosalyn W.; Schummer, Joachim
Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, v25 n6 p459-468 2005
Societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology have become a hot topic of public debates in many countries because both revolutionary changes and strong public concerns are expected from its development. Because nanotechnology is, at this point, mostly articulated in visionary and futuristic terms, it is difficult to apply standard methods of technology assessment and even more difficult to consider it in engineering ethics courses. In this article, the authors suggest using selected science fiction stories in the engineering ethics classroom to provide students with ethical skills and cultural knowledge required for engaging in public debates and for responsible decision making. Against the background of general debates on teaching engineering ethics, they do so by discussing the advantages and possible drawbacks of this approach and by presenting two examples of nano-science fiction classics.
Descriptors: Technological Advancement, Teaching Methods, Engineering Education, Science Fiction, Ethics, Ethical Instruction, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A