Friday, August 27, 2010

How to Start a NanoScience Cafe

NISE Net is offering a new online workshop on preparing and hosting your own Nano Cafe during NanoDays 2011. Here's the announcement:
Science cafes are live events in casual settings like pubs or coffeehouses, where scientists engage the public in conversations about current science topics. From September 13 – 24,  the NISE Network will offer a two-week online workshop that will introduce you to science cafes with a nano theme. Discussion will be led by three moderators who have run successful cafes series in their own communities: Amanda Thomas (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), Brad Herring (Museum of Life and Science), and Jen Larese (WGBH).
In this workshop, we'll cover all the basics about starting a science cafe, including tips for selecting a venue, preparing a scientist/presenter, and marketing your event. We'll also discuss nanoscience and technology topics that can be presented in science cafes, to help you start planning an event for NanoDays 2011.

This online workshop will run through asynchronous text discussions using ASTC Connect, the online learning community of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. Once enrolled, you will receive messages for this discussion in your email. You will be able to select whether to receive messages one-by-one as they are posted or in a daily digest form. Respond to messages on your own schedule by logging in to a password-secured course area, where additional supporting resources will be available.


A limited number of stipends will be available for workshop participants to organize a science cafe series in their community and host a nano-themed science cafe during NanoDays 2011 (March 26 – April 3). Details about this opportunity will be shared in the second week of the online workshop.

How to Enroll

Enrollment for this workshop will open on August 6 and close on September 3. To enroll, email Margaret Glass,  Please enter “NanoScience Cafe” as the message subject line.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cambridge and nanotechnology

I am getting ready to take my first-ever sabbatical leave from Wisconsin and spend the fall semester as a visiting fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, which is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

And while reading up on Cambridge, MA last night, I noticed that local nanotech regulations are apparently still a big issue there ... at least according to Fodor's 2010 Boston guide:
"The city of Cambridge takes a lot of hits, most of them thrown across the Charles River by jealous Bostonians. But Boston's Left Bank—an ├╝berliberal academic enclave where the city council spends more energy arguing about the regulation of nanotechnologies than on fixing potholes and funding preschools—is arguably a must-visit if you're spending even just three days in the Boston area."

Harvard's Kennedy School (in the background) on Bing Maps 3D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lectures from my summer course in "Media, politics, and emerging technologies"

I just finished teaching a summer course in "Media, politics, and emerging technologies" here in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at UW-Madison. Here's an excerpt from the course description:
"We will examine the theoretical foundations from fields like political science, social psychology, and science communication. We will then take a closer look at the communication processes among different stakeholders (players in the policy arena, scientists, journalists, and lay publics) and how they can shape societal debates surrounding science and technology. Based on this more theoretical work, we will explore the real-world political and communication dynamics surrounding issues, such as global warming, stem cell research, nanotechnology, or agricultural biotechnology."

Select online lectures are available on UW's iTunesU site. Click here for a direct link (will open in iTunes or any other video-enabled podcast player)