Presentation on theme: "Nanotechnology: the next big idea Week 4: Confrontations, panics, and more Maryse de la Giroday 6-week course SFU Liberal Arts & Adults 55+ program."— Presentation transcript:
Nanotechnology: the next big idea Week 4: Confrontations, panics, and more Maryse de la Giroday 6-week course SFU Liberal Arts & Adults 55+ program
Rutherford-Bohr (solar system model) In 1913, Neils Bohr, a student of [Ernest] Rutherford's, developed a new model of the atom. He proposed that electrons are arranged in concentric circular orbits around the nucleus.
Schrödinger’s quantum mechanical model In 1926 Erwin Schrödinger, an Austrian physicist, took the Bohr atom model one step further. Schrödinger used mathematical equations to describe the likelihood of finding an electron in a certain position. This atomic model is known as the quantum mechanical model of the atom.
Higgs controversy? Maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle after all, Nov. 7, 2014 on http://phys.org/news/2014-11-wasnt- higgs-particle.htmlhttp://phys.org/news/2014-11-wasnt- higgs-particle.html The researchers' analysis does not debunk the possibility that CERN has discovered the Higgs particle. That is still possible - but it is equally possible that it is a different kind of particle. "The current data is not precise enough to determine exactly what the particle is. It could be a number of other known particles", says Mads Toudal Frandsen.
Higgs controversy? "We believe that it may be a so-called techni-higgs particle. This particle is in some ways similar to the Higgs particle - hence half of the name", says Mads Toudal Frandsen. Although the techni-higgs particle and Higgs particle can easily be confused in experiments, they are two very different particles belonging to two very different theories of how the universe was created. The Higgs particle is the missing piece in the theory called the Standard Model. Paper here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1309.2097 (2013)http://arxiv.org/abs/1309.2097 Or : https://journals.aps.org/authenticate?rt=/prd/abstract/10. 1103/PhysRevD.90.035012 (Aug. 2014) https://journals.aps.org/authenticate?rt=/prd/abstract/10. 1103/PhysRevD.90.035012
Supercapacitors Remember Captain America’s shield? Queensland University of Technology and Rice University announce a film which could turn car panels into supercapacitors (Nov. 6 & Nov. 7, 2014, respectively) – The film could be embedded in a car’s body panels, roof, doors, bonnet and floor – storing enough energy to turbocharge an electric car’s battery in just a few minutes. – As currently designed, the supercapacitors can be charged through regenerative braking and are intended to work alongside the lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, said co-author Notarianni, a Queensland graduate student.
Supercapacitors A scanning electron microscope image shows freestanding graphene film with carbon nanotubes attached. The material is part of a project to create lightweight films containing super capacitors that charge quickly and store energy. Courtesy of Nunzio Motta/Queensland University of Technology
Brain-to-brain http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=6817 video: Thoughtwaves and robot arm (May 17, 2012 at Brown University; BrainGate and DARPA; video) http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=6817 Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, has been making international headlines lately with two brain projects. The first one about implanting a brain chip that allows rats to perceive infrared light was mentioned in my Feb. 15, 2013 posting.
Brain-to-brain The latest project is a brain-to-brain (rats) communication project as per a Feb. 28, 2013 news release on *EurekAlert, – Researchers have electronically linked the brains of pairs of rats for the first time, enabling them to communicate directly to solve simple behavioral puzzles. A further test of this work successfully linked the brains of two animals thousands of miles apart—one in Durham, N.C., and one in Natal, Brazil.
Brain-to-brain The results of these projects suggest the future potential for linking multiple brains to form what the research team is calling an “organic computer,” which could allow sharing of motor and sensory information among groups of animals. The study was published Feb. 28, 2013, in the journal Scientific Reports. http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=9400
Brain-to-brain 2014 University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team's initial demonstration a year ago. In the newly published study, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal.
Brain-to-brain 2014 At the time of the first experiment in August 2013, the UW team was the first to demonstrate two human brains communicating in this way. The researchers then tested their brain-to-brain interface in a more comprehensive study, published Nov. 5 in the journal PLOS ONE. "The new study brings our brain-to-brain interfacing paradigm from an initial demonstration to something that is closer to a deliverable technology," said co- author Andrea Stocco, a research assistant professor of psychology and a researcher at UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences.
Brain-to-brain 2014 "Now we have replicated our methods and know that they can work reliably with walk-in participants.“ http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014- 11/uow-uss110514.php http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014- 11/uow-uss110514.php http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRsx5egJoYk# action=share (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRsx5egJoYk# action=share Research paper: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.011133 2 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.011133 2
Nanotips http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/11/04/vanc ouver-startup-nanotips-pitches-dragons-with- touchscreen-gloves-solution/ (Gillian Shaw) http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/11/04/vanc ouver-startup-nanotips-pitches-dragons-with- touchscreen-gloves-solution/ [Tony] Go said it took six months to find a solution that would last on gloves. The result of the research is a conductive polyamide liquid solution, using nanotechnology, that transforms anything from snowboarding gloves to golf gloves into touchscreen gloves.
Nanotips Kickstarter: Comprised of evenly dispersed ultra-fine conductive nanoparticles, each particle is carefully prepped and made to interlink with one another. These particles are suspended in a solution which allows the nanoparticles to remain chained to one another even under extreme physical stressors. When applied to fabrics, Nanotips Blue soaks into the material and effectively creates a conductive chain, bridging the gap between your finger and the touchscreen device. http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=12506 http://www.nanotips.com/products/
Selling Interstellar (movie: Nov. 7, 2014 release) Good science or bad science? Bad science: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_sci ence/space_20/2014/11/interstellar_science_ review_the_movie_s_black_holes_wormholes _relativity.html by Dr. Phil Plait (astronomer) http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_sci ence/space_20/2014/11/interstellar_science_ review_the_movie_s_black_holes_wormholes _relativity.html
Selling Interstellar (movie: Nov. 7, 2014 release) – Cooper successfully pilots the ship through the wormhole (which was lovely and quite well-done, even down to the much-used explanation of how wormholes work borrowed from A Wrinkle in Time), and on the other side he and his crew find the three- planet system, which is inexplicably orbiting a black hole. I sighed audibly at this part. Where do the planets get heat and light? You kinda need a star for that. Heat couldn’t be from the black hole itself, because later (inevitably) Cooper has to go inside the black hole, and he doesn’t get fried. So the planets inexplicably are habitable despite no nearby source of warmth.
Selling Interstellar (movie: Nov. 7, 2014 release) Good science? – There will be black holes, and they will be crazy. But before you try to make sense of them, try reading up on the work of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, the Stephen Hawking/Carl Sagan colleague who is one of the movie’s executive producers and helped Nolan imagine certain scenes. http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/m ovie- guide/watch+Interstellar+spoiler+free+primer/10 359517/story.html (Stephanie Merry, Washington Post) http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/m ovie- guide/watch+Interstellar+spoiler+free+primer/10 359517/story.html
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) … as Will’s powers grow, he begins to pull off fantastic achievements, including giving a blind man sight, regenerating his own body and spreading his power to the water and the air. This conjecture was influenced by nanotechnology, the field of manipulating matter at the scale of a nanometer, or one- billionth of a meter. (By comparison, a human hair is around 70,000-100,000 nanometers wide.) “In some circles, nanotechnology is the holy grail,” says Paglen [Jack Paglen], screenwriter, “where we could have microscopic, networked machines [emphasis mine] that would be capable of miracles.”
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) The potential uses of, and implications for, nanotechnology are vast and widely debated, but many believe the effects could be life-changing. “When I visited MIT,” says Pfister [Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight”)] “I visited a cancer research institute. They’re talking about the ability of nanotechnology to be injected inside a human body, travel immediately to a cancer cell, and deliver a payload of medicine directly to that cell, eliminating [the need to] poison the whole body with chemo.” …
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) “Nanotechnology could help us live longer, move faster and be stronger. It can possibly cure cancer, and help with all human ailments.” http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=13093 The movie is about anti-technology activists It also references ‘the singularity’ The protagonist’s consciousness is uploaded after an attack from anti-technology activists
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) The technological singularity, or simply the singularity, is a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature. Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be difficult for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is often seen as an occurrence (akin to a gravitational singularity) beyond which the future course of human history is unpredictable or even unfathomable.
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) The first use of the term “singularity” in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. In 1958, regarding a summary of a conversation with von Neumann, Stanislaw Ulam described “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue”. The term was popularized by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. Futurist Ray Kurzweil cited von Neumann’s use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann’s classic The Computer and the Brain.
Selling Transcendence (movie: April 18, 2014 release) Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an “intelligence explosion”, where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent’s cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human. Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045 whereas Vinge predicts some time before 2030. At the 2012 Singularity Summit, Stuart Armstrong did a study of artificial generalized intelligence (AGI) predictions by experts and found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040. His own prediction on reviewing the data is that there is an 80% probability that the singularity will occur between 2017 and 2112.
Singularity University Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Singularity University is a benefit corporation that provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a startup accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies, and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people. Founded by Ray Kurzweil
Singularity discussion The recent movie “Transcendence” will not be troubling the sci-fi canon of classics, if the reviews are anything to go by. But its central plot device – “uploading” a human consciousness to a computer – remains both a central aspiration of transhumanists, and a source of queasy fascination to the rest of us. The idea is that someone’s mind is simply a computer programme, that in the future could be run on a much more powerful computer than a brain, just as one might run an old arcade game on a modern PC in emulation mode. “Mind uploading” has a clear appeal for people who wish to escape the constraints of our flesh and blood existence, notably the constraint of our inevitable mortality.
Singularity discussion In this post I want to consider two questions about mind uploading, from my perspective as a scientist. I’m going to use as an operational definition of “uploading a mind” the requirement that we can carry out a computer simulation of the activity of the brain in question that is indistinguishable in its outputs from the brain itself. For this, we would need to be able to determine the state of an individual’s brain to sufficient accuracy that it would be possible to run a simulation that accurately predicted the future behaviour of that individual and would convince an external observer that it faithfully captured the individual’s identity.
Singularity discussion I’m entirely aware that this operational definition already glosses over some deep conceptual questions, but it’s a good concrete starting point. My first question is whether it will be possible to upload the mind of anyone reading this now. My answer to this is no, with a high degree of probability, given what we know now about how the brain works, what we can do now technologically, and what technological advances are likely in our lifetimes. My second question is whether it will ever be possible to upload a mind, or whether there is some point of principle that will always make this impossible. I’m obviously much less certain about this, but I remain skeptical. (http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p=1558)http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p=1558
Transhumanism and singularity Transhumanism is an ideology, a movement, or a belief system, which predicts and looks forward to a future in which an increasing integration of technology with human beings leads to a qualititative, and positive, change in human nature. It sees a trajectory from a current situation in which certain human disabilities and defects can be corrected, through an increasing tendency to use these technologies to enhance the capabilities of humans, to world in which human and machine are integrated to a cyborg existence.
Transhumanism and singularity Finally, we may leave all traces of our biological past behind, as humans “upload” their intelligence into powerful computers. These ideas are intimately connected with the idea of a “Singularity”, a moment at which accelerating technological change becomes so fast that we pass through an “event horizon” to a radically unknowable future. According to Ray Kurzweil, transhumanism’s most visible and well known spokesman, this event will take place in or around 2045.
Nano, transhumanism, and singularity Richard Jones is the author of Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life, a book about nanotechnology. … He is a Professor of Physics and the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield. http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p= 1558 http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p= 1558 http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p= 1549
Back to ‘Entertainment and science: serious business’ Apparently Hollywood came calling at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 242nd National Meeting (August 28 – Sept. 1, 2011). They were asking scientists to volunteer as advisors. From the August 29, 2011 news item on Science Daily,August 29, 2011 news item In this International Year of Chemistry (IYC), writers and producers for the most popular crime and science- related television shows and movies are putting out an all-points bulletin for scientists to advise them on the accuracy of their plots involving lab tests, crime scenes, etc., and to even give them story ideas.
Entertainment and science: serious business They really do want to get it right, and this is very good news for young people who absorb the information from these shows, and this helps shape their positive career decisions. That’s the message delivered in Denver by producers and writers from top television shows speaking at a special Presidential Event at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 242nd National Meeting & Exposition. … They spoke at a symposium entitled “Science on the Hollywood Screen.” In addition to CSI, other shows represented were Breaking Bad, CSI New York, Buffy, Battlestar and Torchwood. http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=4279 (Sept. 2011) http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=4279
Entertainment and science: serious business Yesterday, June 27, 2013 TED-Ed (TED is technology, entertainment, and design [conferences]) launched a new video series, Superhero Science: If superpowers were real. Here’s more from the announcement, TED-Ed, TED’s education arm whose mission is to amplify the voice of great teachers, is rolling out today a six video series called “If superpowers were real…”..: For instance, did you know that if you were invisible then you also technically could not see because no light would reflect off your retina? Or if you had super strength and actually ran and caught the damsel in distress, that you’d do more damage to her body than the ground would? Or bugs would destroy your face if you could fly? (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=10543 June 2013)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=10543
Entertainment and science: serious business UC Berkeley gets in on the act: – Fame wasted no time. By early March , "The Nano Song" had spread virally, with mentions by PhysOrg.com, Scientific American, WIRED, and boingboing. When YouTube featured the video on its home page, it quickly racked up close to 300,000 hits (as of the first week of March), along with a mountain of comments from viewers, like "'Nano Song' is rocking the globe!" http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/ 03/06_nanosong.shtml http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/ 03/06_nanosong.shtml
Entertainment and science: serious business... Magical Materials is a free, month long show at Science Gallery which explores the peculiar properties of the world’s most futuristic and spectacular materials. Visitors to the exhibition will have a chance to see, touch and experience almost fifty Magical Materials including: Aerogel, the lightest solid in the world (dubbed ‘solid smoke’) Graphene, a layer of graphite just one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel Smart textiles that store information, keep your gadgets charged and raise oxygen levels in blood. http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=8005 (Sept. 2012) http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=8005
Entertainment and science: serious business Magical Materials; Unleash Your Superpowers exhibit Six nanotechnology superheroes have been created for this, here’s Florogirl,
Entertainment and science: serious business The sixth and final superhero comic book cover in artist Stephen Byrne’s MAGICAL MATERIALS-inspired series sees him bringing to life a category of materials called Designed By Nature [aka biomimicry]. … Inspired by artificial photosynthesis, Stephen imagined an investigative reporter who had accidentally exposed herself to nickel-molybdenum-zinc, and found herself able to imitate the process of photosynthesis by converting light from the sun and moisture from the air into energy, and named her Florogirl. Florogirl can use her powers to create highly concentrated energy beams, and while she can store up energy, she runs the risk of running out of her energy reserves at night. http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=8005 (Sept. 2012)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=8005
Entertainment and science: serious business The latest offering is Patient Zero from Black Rooster Creations. From the Oct. 18, 2011 media release on PRWeb,Oct. 18, 2011 media release Black Rooster Creations has launched its website with a viral campaign and three major book releases written by screenwriter Jim Beck featuring zombies, superheroes, and yes, even bugs. The first release, Patient Zero, serves as a cautionary tale that mixes old school zombies with new school technology. Narrated by the zombie virus itself, the story follows single father Robert Forrester, who is brought back to life as one of the living dead after a botched experiment involving nanotechnology. [emphasis mine] His transformation is slow, first appearing as a skin rash and advanced arthritis, and he quickly begins to lose control. (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=4869 Oct. 2011)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=4869
Late night US television Kevin Delaney is Director of Visitor Experience at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas. Last Friday’s [Nov. 7, 2014] segment marked his second appearance on The Tonight Show this year (the first was in May).... Delaney was approached by the program shortly before Fallon moved to the 11:30 slot in February. Staff have apparently approached many different science museums and organizations to find people like Kevin Delaney. David Bruggeman (http://pascophronesis.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/fallon- might-just-have-his-resident-scientist/)
Nano, the Canadian Army, and a science fiction novelist In 2005 the Canadian army commissioned a science fiction author (Karl Schroeder) to write a book about a future military crisis. Schroeder has included some nanotechnology applications in his future war book, Crisis in Zefra, such as ‘smart dust’. I haven’t read the book yet. Apparently the army has run out of copies but you can get a PDF version from Schroeder’s website here. Do check out the website blog where he includes some science bits and pieces in his postings. According to the article here, Schroeder has been commissioned to write a sequel. … http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=130 Feb. 2009here http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=130
Nano, the Canadian Army, and a science fiction novelist Crisis in Zefra – … the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me [Schroeder] to write a dramatized future military scenario. The book-length work, Crisis in Zefra, was set in a mythical African city-state, about 20 years in the future, and concerned a group of Canadian peacekeepers who are trying to ready the city for its first democratic vote while fighting an insurgency. Both the peacekeepers and the insurgents use a range of new technologies, some fantastic- sounding, but all in development in 2005…
Nano, the Canadian Army, and a science fiction novelist Crisis in Urlia – In 2010, I was hired to write a followup to Zefra entitled Crisis in Urlia, which was published in May, 2014. Urlia deals with a drought-and-famine situation in a coastal city in the 'Pakistani-Indian plurinational zone.' This city, Urlia, has a population of more than a million but is less than ten years old, having sprung up using new money and Chinese kit-city technologies.
Nano, the Canadian Army, and a science fiction novelist – A new disease breaks out while a Canadian rapid- response team is on the ground in Urlia, and as the situation threatens to spiral out of control, an increasingly intricate web of alliances, relationships and protocols comes to bear on the problem. – Urlia explores the concept of 'wicked problems' as well as the future of command-and-control in a networked and multi-stakeholder world. One principle whose ramifications are explored is Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety, which states that any control system must have at least as many internal degrees of freedom as the system it models;
Nano, the Canadian Army, and a science fiction novelist – applied to a scenario where multiple problems intersect--(famine, drought, political instability, disease and corruption), where nobody can even agree on the definition of the problem, there are no single solutions or even any metric to decide when a solution has succeeded--in such chaos, can a traditional military/political machine cope without pursuing the 'radical simplification' of the situation implied by an imposition of martial law and military government? – (http://www.kschroeder.com/foresight- consulting/crisis-in-zefra)
Crisis in Urlia (2011 excerpt) … Miraculously, his glasses had stayed on. There was nothing to see but swirling dust an inch from his face, but their display was still working; so he was able to watch the local loitering index suddenly plummet from about two dozen, to zero. He could picture the scene: everybody on the street running pell-mell as the echoes of the rocket attack faded. These modern conveniences, he thought in wonder. And then he passed out.
Crisis in Urlia (2011 excerpt) ENDNOTES 1. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18036- augmented-reality-system-lets-you-see-through- walls.html... 4. Location-dependent tags are a major component of augmented-reality systems. For an example current in 2010, see http://www.psfk.com/2009/08/mobile- augmented-reality-tagging.html.http://www.psfk.com/2009/08/mobile- augmented-reality-tagging.html http://vanguardcanada.com/crisis-in-urlia/ (Vanguard; Forum for Canada’s Security and Defence ) http://vanguardcanada.com/crisis-in-urlia/
Arizona State University and the Center for Science and the Imagination http://csi.asu.edu/ – Project Hieroglyph (Michael Crow & Neal Stephenson) Writers and alternatives to dystopian futures Talks at Google: Project Hieroglyph ‘moonshot projects’ and the US psyche Cory Doctorow (Canadian-born author) one of the contributors
Hieroglyph and the US White House As one of the contributors to the Hieroglyph anthology, I [Karl Schroeder] was invited down to the White House in early October 2014 to talk about optimistic futures The Hieroglyph anthology has certainly had legs. It brought a whole bunch of us authors and the editors to the White House to talk to the Office of Science and Technology Policy about how to engage a new generation of young people to go into the science and engineering professions. (http://www.kschroeder.com/weblog)
Techno-moral panics Technopanics: Moral Panics about Technology MIT Course Number: CMS.S60 / CMS.S96 – Ong, Walter J. "Writing Restructures Consciousness," and "Print, Space and Closure." In Orality and Literacy. 30th anniv. ed. Routledge, 2012. ISBN: 9780415538374.niversity Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780335209088.
Techno-moral panics MIT Course Number: CMS.S60 / CMS.S96 – Standage, Tom. "Electric Skeptics." In The Victorian Internet. Walker, 1998. ISBN: 9780297841487. (http://conu212standage.wordpress.com/chapters- summary/3-electric-skeptics/) – Spigel, Lynn. "Seducing the Innocent: Childhood and Television in Postwar America." In Welcome to the Dreamhouse: Popular Media and Postwar Suburbs. Duke University Press, 2001. – Thomas, Douglas. "Rethinking the Cyberbody: Hackers, Viruses, and Cultural Anxiety." In Technological Visions: Hopes And Fears That Shape New Technologies. Edited by Marita Sturken, Douglas Thomas, and Sandra Ball-Rokeach. Temple University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9781592132270.
Techno-moral panics MIT Course Number: CMS.S60 / CMS.S96 – Carr, Nicholas. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" The Atlantic, July 1, 2008. – Bilton, Nick. "The Defense of Computers, the Internet, and Our Brains." The New York Times Bits blog. June 11, 2010. – Cassell, Justine, and Meg Cramer. "High Tech or High Risk: Moral Panics about Girls Online." (PDF) In Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. Edited by Tara McPherson. MIT Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780262633598.
Technology fears and cycles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7p4cvB URk&feature=player_embedded (This hour has 22 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7p4cvB URk&feature=player_embedded
The roots of the controversy over ‘Frankenfoods’ Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, published in 1818, again in 1823 and revised in 1831 The monster is unnamed; the scientist is Victor Frankenstein. Prometheus an accepted metaphor for an artist is replaced here by a scientist Mary Shelley Frankenstein edited by M. R. Joseph, Oxford University Press, 1969
Frankenstein and myths Reference to Prometheus is a reference to boundary crossing and progressiveness with the monster representing the fears of crossing boundaries and dealing with consequences (Cultural history of Frankenstein, 2007, WW Norton & Company) This is now considered a classic confrontation between new and old technology Metaphorically, Frankenstein has served in many roles
Mary Shelley and electricity The science that inspired Mary Shelley to write "Frankenstein" is nearly as strange as the novel itself. Written in 1818, the book was influenced by a scientific feud that ushered in the first battery and our modern understanding of electricity. http://www.insidescience.org/content/scienc e-made-frankenstein/1116
When old technologies were new “A view that natural manifestations were part of a dialogue between man and the world saw nature’s retreat from technology as a threatening development...” Discussion of electricity in When old technologies were new; thinking about electric communication in the late 19 th century by Carolyn Marvin, Oxford University Press, 1988 p. 118)
Frankenstein and other monsters are malleable Horror – Electricity (the unnatural) – Disfigurement – Childbirth – Etc. Humour
Frankenstein and food 1992, Paul Lewis, a lecturer at Boston College, known for his pronouncements against technology writes a letter to the NY Times about the FDA and being more vigilant about genetically modified agricultural products... P. 288) Cultural history of Frankenstein, Susan Tyler Hitchcock)
Frankenstein and food Ever since Mary Shelley’s Baron rolled his improved human out of the lab, scientists having been bringing just such good things to life... If they want to sell us Frankenfood, perhaps it’s time to gather the villagers, light some torches, and head to the castle.” (p. 288) (Cultural history of Frankenstein, 2007)
Frankenstein and food Later that month in 1992, there was a NY Times article citing developments in the field and Lewis’ letter as proof people were uneasy. Article was titled: Genetecists’ Latest Discovery: Public Fear of “Frankenfoods” British tabloid writers pick up the “Frankenfoods” reference and run with it Then, civil society (activist groups) use it too for one of their most successful campaigns & they successfully rebrand this as GMO (genetically modified organisms) p. 288
Nanotechnology advocates run scared In the wake of GMO, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), stem cell controversies, scientists and policy makers were very concerned about nanotechnology Many, many public engagement projects developed especially in Europe Nanologue,, a European Union nanotechnology public engagement project was completed in 2004 Nanochannels, last mentioned in my Jan. 27, 2011 posting, is a Europe-wide public engagement project (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=3725)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=3725 Nanopinon; what do Europeans think about nanotechnology (http://nanopinion.eu/0
Nanotechnology advocates run scared NanoDiode: Stakeholder engagement and dialogue are essential to the responsible development of nanotechnologies in Europe. The European FP7 project NanoDiode, launched in July 2013 (http://www.nanodiode.eu/about- nanodiode/)http://www.nanodiode.eu/about- nanodiode/ Understanding Public Debate on Nanotechnologies; Options for Framing Public Policy (109 pp, http://www.nanotechproject.org/process/assets/ files/8304/debate_nano_100203.pdf) http://www.nanotechproject.org/process/assets/ files/8304/debate_nano_100203.pdf
Nanotechnology advocates run scared UK initiatives – http://www.nanoandme.org/home/http://www.nanoandme.org/home/ – http://www.matterforall.org/ http://www.matterforall.org/ 2009 survey of UK nano engagement initiatives (http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p=44 3)http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p=44 3 Nanochannels and the Guardian newspaper – http://www.theguardian.com/nanotechnology-world http://www.theguardian.com/nanotechnology-world Listing of initiatives at http://www.nanotechia.org/activity-objective- areas/public-engagement-communication
Nanotechnology advocates run scared US: – NISENet (Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network) – PEN (Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies) – Andrew Maynard: “This [2003 US nano research act] resulted in two academic Centers for Nanotechnology and Society being established—one at Arizona State University and another at the University of California Santa Barbara. But apart from the research conducted by these centers, there has been little in the way of true public engagement on nanotechnology in the US, in terms of enabling citizens to enter a two-way dialogue with decision-makers.” (http://2020science.org/2009/01/13/nanotechnology- science-and-public-engagement-lessons-from-the-uk/ )
Nanotechnology advocates run scared Canada (not so much) – Nanotechnology, Ethical, Environmental, Economic, Legal and Social Issues—NE3LS at the NINT (Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology located on the University of Alberta campus) : Lori Sheremeta and Timothy Caulfield (both are lawyers) – NINT no longer seems to have a NE3LS project on its site as of Nov. 13, 2014 (http://nint-innt.ca/)
Berkeley and nano The City of Berkeley (US) December 2006 The Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to introduce new measures regarding manufactured nanomaterial health and safety These amendments require facilities that manufacture or use nanomaterials to disclose in writing which nanomaterials are being used as well as the current toxicology of the materials reported (to the extent known) and to further describe how the facility will safely handle, monitor, contain, dispose, track inventory, prevent releases and mitigate such materials.
Berkeley and nano Berkeley is currently the only municipal government in the United States to regulate nanotechnology (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=14064)
Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities.
Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project Project members are using the methods of various disciplines -- including social psychology, anthropology, communications, and political science -- to chart the impact of this phenomenon and to identify the mechanisms through which it operates. The Project also has an explicit normative objective: to identify processes of democratic decisionmaking by which society can resolve culturally grounded differences in belief in a manner that is both congenial to persons of diverse cultural outlooks and consistent with sound public policymaking.
Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project Nanotechnology Risk Perceptions project in the wake of the Berkeley nano bylaw 2007 – 2009 (papers)
Civil society groups gear up for battle FOE (Friends of the Earth) Nanotechnology is a powerful emerging technology for taking apart and reconstructing nature at the atomic and molecular level. Nanoscale -- or extremely tiny -- materials now show up in a broad array of consumer products. Nanoparticles show novel physicochemical properties in comparison to larger sized particles of the same substance. While nanotechnology is being touted as a potential catalyst for the next industrial revolution and could have far-ranging impacts, the field is being commercialized largely outside of public view or debate, and with few regulations to protect workers, the public and the environment.
Civil society groups gear up for battle Friends of the Earth is pushing our government and policymakers in other countries to regulate nanotech industries with a precautionary approach that puts people's health before corporate profits. We also push for the mandatory labeling of products that contain nanomaterials so that consumers can make informed decisions.
Civil society groups gear up for battle Tiny Ingredients, big risks: Nanomaterials rapidly entering food and farming Nano-silver: Policy failure puts public health at risk Nanotechnology, climate and energy: Over- heated promises and hot air? – This groundbreaking report rigorously examines claims that nanotechnology will allow for continued economic growth and resource use while minimizing environmental impacts, showing that to date nanotechnology has failed to make good on these promises.
Civil society groups gear up for battle Out of the laboratory and onto our plates: Nanotechnology in food & agriculture. – This report finds that untested nanotechnology is being used in more than 100 food products, food packaging and contact materials currently on the shelf, without warning or FDA testing. Nanomaterials, Sunscreens and Cosmetics: Small Ingredients, Big Risks Manufactured nanomaterials and sunscreens: Top reasons for precaution – Nanomaterials are already being used (unlabelled) in hundreds of consumer products including sunscreens and cosmetics. This report explains why this is reason for concern.
Civil society groups gear up for battle The ETC Group (based in Canada) – Even in 2007/8, US scientists were still irate about The ETC Group’s role in the GMO ‘debates’ or debacle, depending on your perspective http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVsWEB5 2bvA (Pat Roy Mooney in 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVsWEB5 2bvA
Mooney and the gold nanoparticles Oddly, Mooney spends quite a bit of time suggesting that gold nanoparticles are a problem. That may be but the more concerning issue is with silver nanoparticles which are used extensively in clothing and which wash off easily. This means silver nanoparticles are ending up in the water supply and in our fish populations. Studies with zebrafish strongly suggest far more problems with silver nanoparticles than gold nanoparticles. (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=909)
Gold and silver nanoparticle toxicity Toxicity assessments of multisized gold and silver nanoparticles in zebrafish embryos by Bar-Ilan O, Albrecht RM, Fako VE, Furgeson DY. – Although cAg toxicity is slightly size dependent at certain concentrations and time points, the most striking result is that parallel sizes of cAg and cAu induce significantly different toxic profiles, with the former being toxic and the latter being inert in all exposed sizes. Therefore, it is proposed that nanoparticle chemistry is as, if not more, important than specific nanosizes at inducing toxicity in vivo. Ultimately such assessments using the zebrafish embryo model should lead to the identification of nanomaterial characteristics that afford minimal or no toxicity and guide more rational designs of materials on the nanoscale.
ETC view ETC Group has called for a moratorium on the environmental release or commercial use of nanomaterials, a ban on self-assembling nanomaterials and on patents on nanoscale technologies. http://www.etcgroup.org/issues/nanotechnol ogy http://www.etcgroup.org/issues/nanotechnol ogy Accessed Nov. 10, 2014
World Social Forum, Tunis 2013 (ETC Group) New, high-risk technologies, ranging from the very small (synthetic biology, nanotechnology) to the very large (geoengineering), are being rapidly developed. Promoters promise solutions, but the precautionary principle and social and economic impacts are often ignored in the rush to deploy the latest technofix.
World Social Forum, Tunis 2013 (ETC Group) Without the strict application of the precautionary principle, and a transparent and real participatory way to assess impacts, these new technologies could wreak more havoc on our already fragile planet, battered by reckless and unsustainable forms of production. To deal with the onslaught of ever more powerful technologies, civil society organizations, movements, indigenous peoples and peasant organizations need to self-organize to create Technology Observation Platforms (TOPs). http://www.etcgroup.org/issues/nanotechnology
Precautionary Principle http://www.riskscience.umich.edu/risk-bites- precautionary-principle-good-bad/ (Andrew Maynard video) http://www.riskscience.umich.edu/risk-bites- precautionary-principle-good-bad/ Mentioned on Person of Interest tv episode broadcast in the US & Canada, Oct. 30, 2014, in connection with artificial intelligence
Precautionary Principle The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_princ iple
Nano sunscreens Two most disputed ingredients in ‘nano’ sunscreens (metallic nanoparticles) – Titanium dioxide – Zinc oxide Friends of the Earth (FOE) ran a very active anti-nano sunscreen campaign for years The ETC Group was also very critical but doesn’t seem to have organized specific anti- nano sunscreen campaigns.
EWG (Environmental Working Group) You’d expect them to side with FOE and The ETC Group – But when it comes to sunscreen, EWG respectfully disagrees. Our research demonstrates that sunscreens formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which are sometimes ground down into nanoparticles for cosmetic reasons, have the best broad-spectrum protection and the lowest known risk of sunscreens currently on the market in the US. The products on FOE's recommended list may not contain nanoparticles, but they're also much less effective. They degrade twice as fast in the sun and provide less protection to begin with, leaving you with a much higher risk for sunburns and skin cancer.
EWG (Environmental Working Group) – FOE is right to raise questions about nanotechnology. EWG would love to see the development of sunscreens even better than zinc and titanium without the use of nano. In the meantime, though, consumers need to know which products are most safe and effective overall -- not just which products might contain nanoparticles. http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2007/08/foes- nanotech-no-no http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2007/08/foes- nanotech-no-no
2010 comments from Georgia Miller, executive director FOE In your earlier blog you point out that research by Professor Brian Gulson at Macquarie University and by scientists at Australia’s CSIRO which shows radio-isotope labelled zinc from sunscreens in the blood and urine of human volunteers is not yet published. True enough – also that these researchers are not yet able to say whether or not the absorbed zinc they detected is in particle or ionic form. Nonetheless, the results do show that zinc in sunscreens does not simply remain on the outer layers of dead skin cells, as some have claimed. Many questions remain: the one clear answer is that more research is required.... You ask for a ‘worst case scenario’. One worst case scenario is the accelerated development of skin cancer in people using nano- sunscreens, despite their wearing sunscreens for sun protection.... Dr. Andrew Maynard’s 2020 Science blog
Researcher’s response to Georgia Miller/FOE Brian Gulson – lead researcher in the Australian sunscreen study cited by Georgia above – asked me [Andrew Maynard] to post these clarifications on his study: Our study involved two sunscreen formulations containing zinc (Zn) oxide particles (‘nanoparticles’ and ‘bulk’) highly enriched with a stable Zn isotope 68 Zn. These sunscreens were applied to the backs of 20 volunteers twice daily over 5 days in an outdoor setting (i.e. with UV exposure). Blood and urine were collected prior to sunscreen application, at various times during the trial, and 6 days after the trial ended. Detection of the 68 Zn tracer in blood and urine indicates penetration through the skin. Some other observations of relevance to the present discussion are: 1.Previous studies did not measure blood and urine.
Researcher’s response to Georgia Miller/FOE The amounts of the 68 Zn tracer detected in blood and urine were very small (micrograms of Zn) compared with the normal amount of Zn in blood (milligrams). Even if one considers other compartments or tissues in the body (e.g. liver) which can exchange Zn rapidly with plasma and red blood cells, these potentially larger amounts of tracer would still be small compared with the total amount of Zn in the body. The small amounts we observed would probably not be detectable in the other studies using less sensitive methods. Furthermore, without using an isotope tracer, they could not distinguish between Zn coming from the sunscreen and that introduced into the body from diet or Zn already circulating in the body.
Researcher’s response to Georgia Miller/FOE Very low levels of 68 Zn tracer were first detected in blood following the 4th application of sunscreen, and ~30 hours after the 1st application. This sets a time frame for measuring dermal penetration by sensitive methods, and may help with the analysis of other studies involving fewer applications and/or shorter detection times following applications. The biggest question remaining from our study is that we don’t know whether the 68 Zn we detected in blood and urine is as ZnO nanoparticles or as soluble Zn.
Researcher’s response to Georgia Miller/FOE The adverse reaction of one subject is of interest. During the sunscreen-application phase, we noticed a skin reaction where sunscreen had been applied, and at that point we made the decision to apply no more sunscreen to her; however, we continued to sample her blood and urine. At the time of this observation, she told us that her skin commonly reacts to sunscreens and skin-care products. Read more: http://2020science.org/2010/06/15/just- how-risky-can-nanoparticles-in-sunscreens-be-friends- of-the-earth-respond/#ixzz3Ii4S0ePBhttp://2020science.org/2010/06/15/just- how-risky-can-nanoparticles-in-sunscreens-be-friends- of-the-earth-respond/#ixzz3Ii4S0ePB
Australia, FOE, and the sunscreens 2012: Unintended consequences: Australians not using sunscreens to avoid nanoparticles? (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=5875)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=5875 The Cancer Council of Australia reports that we have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with over 440,000 people receiving medical treatment for skin cancers each year, and over 1,700 people dying of all types of skin cancer annually.
Australia, FOE, and the sunscreens The survey of public attitudes towards sunscreens with nanoparticles, commissioned by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and conducted last month, showed that about 17% 13% of people in Australia were so worried about the issue, they would rather risk skin cancer by going without sunscreen than use a product containing nanoparticles. [emphasis mine]
Australia, FOE, and the sunscreens FOE immediately withdrew their anti-nano sunscreen literature Blamed the government for a lack of regulation Some recent research suggests that nanoscale anatase titanium dioxide be avoided (titanium dioxide can be rutile or anatase) while other recent research suggests there isn’t much difference (http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=11280 Oct. 2013)http://www.frogheart.ca/?p=11280