Please join us as Beth Strickland Bloch defends her dissertation proposal, "The Values and Design of Novel Biomedical Nanotechnologies: An Ethnographic Analysis."
Summary: The development of novel biomedical nanotechnologies (i.e. bionanotechnologies) presents important questions about the way these technologies get designed within and as a result of everyday scientific practices. There is a need to examine how values influence design decisions made by bioengineers, and to reflect upon the potential ethical implications these actions suggest for particular social values. Bioengineers who are aware of how the bionanotechnologies they develop could affect social values will be able to create technologies that are better for humans.
Overview: In this dissertation proposal, the case is presented for conducting an ethnographic study (observations and interviews) of bioengineering laboratory groups who are responsible for the design and development of bionanotechnologies. I argue for the use of a values and design approach in which to apply a social science lens to the study of bioengineering scientific practices. Through the direct examination of everyday laboratory activities, I will locate if, when, and how values are considered throughout the design process. Through this examination I will identify the type of values which scientists implicitly or explicitly consider important in their work. This examination will also provide the opportunity to reflect on the ethical implications of how these values govern design decisions made by scientists.
Please note the non-standard starting time (1:15 p.m.)
Questions? Please contact mestric2 [at] illinois.edu (Beth Strickland Bloch)
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