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The Nano Revolution Series
Will Nano Save the Planet?

Environmental problems might be solved by nano solar cells, clean fuel additives, contaminant remediation, but are we creating pollutants more dangerous than the ones we already have?


A printer-friendly version of this page 45 minutes
Closed Captioned

Directed by Mike Downie
Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
in association with ARTE/DOCSIDE France, NHK Japan
Series Producers: Michael Allder (CBC), FM Morrison (CBC) Takhiro Hamano (NHK), Olivier Julien (ARTE/DOCSIDE)
Associate Producer: Romilla Karnick
Editor: Ilona Crabbe
Original Music: Ken Myhr
Director of Photography: Michael Sweeney
Narrator: David Suzuki
A Nature of Things Special Presentation with NHK (Japan)/ARTE (France)





"An excellent educational resource for those wanting to learn more about nanotechnology and its implications for the global ecosystem in the 21st century." Dr. Fritz Allhoff, Philosophy, Western Michigan University,
The Earth's environment faces some great challenges, and it doesn't take much to realize there's no time to waste. In the third episode of THE NANO REVOLUTION, we meet scientists who believe that nanotechnology may be the key to overcoming the biosphere's environmental problems. Dr. Vicki Colvin from Rice University field tests a simple low cost technique that could help the developing world clean arsenic out of contaminated groundwater. The University of Toronto's Professor Ted Sargent outlines his research into nano solar cells that would make solar power cheaper and more efficient by capturing the sun's infrared rays. Professor Peter Dobson from Oxford University describes how adding cerium oxide in nano form to diesel fuel can make it both more efficient and clean up emissions. At the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Denis O'Carroll demonstrates nano remediation of contaminated soil.

But are we creating pollutants that are more dangerous than the ones we already have? What happens when nano-structured materials decay? The episode also visits Duke University in North Carolina, where Professor Mark Wiesner's team is investigating the possible environmental impact of silver nanoparticles already being used as anti-bacterial in consumer products. So, will nanotechnology save the Earth's environment? Or will it provide another way in which humans can harm nature?

The other programs in the series are:

1. Welcome to Nano City - See how the invisible nano revolution is already at work in our lives-from photocatalytic window coatings that clean themselves to manmade fiber stronger yet lighter than steel.

2. More than Human - With nanotechnology medicine could evolve from treating disease to a practice that is predictive, personalized and preemptive.



Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2013     Copyright Date: 2011
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-282-9



Reviews
"Will Nano Save the Planet provides an introduction of nanotechnology, as well as discussion of environmental applications. The production value is strong, and it is an excellent educational resource for those wanting to learn more about nanotechnology and its implications for the global ecosystem in the 21st century."
Dr. Fritz Allhoff, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australian National University, Author, What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter: From Science to Ethics

"This inspirational and clever series should be used in every introductory chemistry, physics, biology, and environmental science class at the college level, not to mention a wide range of classes in various engineering disciplines. In addition, they are wonderfully appropriate for social science classes that look at the interaction of society and technology...Exceptionally well done. Bravo!"
Michael Hochella, Professor of Geosciences, Director of Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

"Nanotechnology has become one of the most exciting areas of research today, attracting many of our most creative scientists and engineers...Yet as with any new technology, there will be trade-offs and unanticipated hazards. As this imaginative and informative film series makes clear, society must grapple with the potential risks as well as the rewards to come from this burgeoning field."
David Kaiser, Department Head, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Author, How the Hippies Saved Physics

"Each video highlights career choices in the currently numerous, wide-open fields within the broad scope of nanotechnology and also points out some of the possible dangers and other issues in using nanotechnology. For teachers looking to excite students about the possibilities of science, the series either individually or collectively is a winner...A great addition to the classroom tool box...With the provocative ideas in each video, they have good springboard ideas for discussions or writing prompts...The series demonstrates a great way to integrate science with life. There are no easy answers in the videos, but a weighing of options is suggested."
Steve Canipe, NSTA Recommends

"The Nano Revolution does an excellent job of explaining nanotechnology, as it applies to specific topics, through interviewing nano-scientists working on the cutting edge inventions...Each chapter concludes with a dramatization on how a future society that uses the applications of nanotechnology might look. This does not detract from the scientific research discussed-rather it allows the viewer to imagine the many possible ways that the nanotechnology can be used and think about the potential risks. The Nano Revolution is highly recommended for anyone interested in nanotechnology. It will work very well as an introduction to nanotechnology in senior high school to college level science or engineering courses."
Angela R Davis, The Pennsylvania State University, Educational Media Reviews Online

"The Nano Revolution captivatingly explores the impact of nanotechnology on urban living...Despite the context of a very subjective future reality, attempts to evenly present both positive and negative potentials are clear. This title is particularly recommended for high school, technical school, and community college collections."
Vincent Livoti, University of Maine, School Library Journal


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DVD Features
DVD includes closed captioning, and scene selection.

Links
Sargent Group
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
The Colvin Group
Wiesner Research Group
Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology
Study: Traffic Pollution May Boost Your Risk of Heart Attack
Oxford Future Energy
EPA: Extramural Nanotechnology Research



Subjects
Biology
Chemistry
Ecology
Energy
Engineering
Environment
Ethics
Future Studies
Health
Humanities
Philosophy
Physical Science
Science
Technology
Society

Sociology


Related Titles

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David and Sarika Suzuki explore urban innovations leading toward sustainability.

Biomimicry
2-part series based on the book Biomimicry - a new science that studies nature 's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.

Extreme By Design
In a Stanford multidisciplinary, project-based course, student design teams are building a better world...one product at a time.

Rough Science
10-part series in which five scientists on a tropical island cooperate to solve a series of scientific challenges using only their knowledge, ingenuity, and whatever is at hand.

Expedition Earthscope
America's turbulent geologic story and earth scientists' biggest push yet to uncover its deepest secrets.

Homo Toxicus
Explores the links between the hundreds of toxic pollutants in our environment and increasing health problems.

Field of Genes
The effects of the biotechnology revolution on farmers and consumers.

Risky Business
A discussion-starter on genetically engineered plants and animals.

Gene Blues
Examines the ethical issues associated with DNA testing.

Not for Sale
Examines the disturbing new corporate practice of patenting life forms.

Deconstructing Supper
A leading chef investigates food safety in the age of GMOs and industrial agriculture.

Nuclear Dynamite
Investigates American and Soviet plans to use nuclear explosives for "geographical engineering."

The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced
Two scientific expeditions to Alaska, 100 years apart, give us an unparalleled view of environmental damage and the change in society's attitudes.


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