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Teaching Teens Nanotech Ethics

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Mike Cobb, Jesse Jur, and the group of high school students they taught about the social and ethical dimensions of nanotechnologies.

Political Science professor Mike Cobb recently shared his expertise with juniors and seniors – in high school. Along with Jesse Jur, Textile Engineering Chemistry and Science assistant professor, Cobb taught several sessions titled “Social and Ethical Dimensions to Nanotechnologies.”

Cobb says he wanted to share his knowledge about public perceptions that surround technologies such as human enhancement, and to help high school students explore some of the ethical issues involved.

Some of those ethical questions include these: Will only those who can afford it be able to access these technologies? How do we decide which technologies to pursue at all? And what implications could they have on our future?

Cobb hoped the sessions would encourage a broader look into the future of technology, not just what we are capable of. “I hope they appreciate the human and ethical issues in technology development, and not just focus on the fact we have technological prowess and can build things just to build them,” says Cobb.

The sessions were held at The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics hosted the sessions. Students from across the state attended.

By Kristie Demers, CHASS communication intern