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8 June 2005 Microsystems and nanotechnology: conceptual issues in education and society
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The rapidly emerging field of MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) has recently seen a proliferation of microscale devices and processes. Indeed, microsystems and nanotechnology has from its origins in the integrated circuits industry now become an extensive field of research encompassing everything from biosensors with near real-time diagnostics to power MEMS for portable devices, enabling vastly improved performance to power consumption over their macro counterparts. The paper uses relevant contemporary issues that arise from conceptual limitations in this burgeoning field to illustrate and highlight some critical analysis of the key educational issues involved in teaching in this vital area. The paper considers a number of political-strategic issues arising for Ireland directly out of the nano-biotechnology revolution. It also highlights a number of relevant concerns that can be addressed by educational initiatives. Theoretical and philosophical concepts regarding changes in thinking surrounding recent developments are also explored, with some specific primary science discussion made on research issues and second-third level education. The paper ends with an attempt to identify the major opportunities for Ireland and highlights the changes that science and technology will wrote for an Ireland ready or not, to face a new reality that is also no respecter of any country's past successes.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. E. Heaton and Norman D. McMillan "Microsystems and nanotechnology: conceptual issues in education and society", Proc. SPIE 5827, Opto-Ireland 2005: Photonic Engineering, (8 June 2005);


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