Nanotechnology: significance and impact in science, industry and society


To consider the social, economic and environmental implications of nanotechnology, particularly before the backdrop of the competitiveness of modern technology-driven societies.

Project description

Thematic focus on interdisciplinary aspects of nanotechnology, including questions of material science for high-tech applications and innovative diagnostic and treatment procedures in nanomedicine

Past and future activities

  • 30 May 2007: public lecture on the "Opportunities and risks of nanotechnology" by Wolfgang Heckl, Director General of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, during the International Nanoscience Symposium in Hamburg
  • 2008: organisation of the event "Citizens’ dialogue on NanoCare - the safe production of nanomaterials" in cooperation with the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center Hamburg (INCH)
  • 2010: production of a 25-minute film entitled "Nanotechnology: small particles - big effec" (available in German and English)
    - What exactly is nanotechnology?
    - How will nanotechnology change our lives?
    - Will there soon be self-repairing materials and new energy-saving technology that make a decisive contribution to environmental protection?
    - Will nanotechnology in future open up opportunities for the early detection of cancer and its cure?
    - Questions on the risks associated with this technology
  • 22 to 23 May 2013: public symposium in honour of Otto Stern with seven winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, physics or medicine
    - Life and works of Otto Stern
    - Significance of Stern’s discoveries
    - Link between historical aspects and the contents and visions of modern-day research for the general public
  • 18 to19 September 2015: opening of the permanent exhibition in Hamburg entitled "Nanotechnology – enter into new worlds" ["Nanotechnologie – Aufbruch in neuen Welten"] combined with a lecture programme and laboratory tours · Concentration on individual, highly visible projects. Intensification of the successful cooperation with regional nanotechnology associations, collaborative research centres and the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) cluster of excellence.
  • Summer semester 2016: Academy lecture series on "Nanotechnology in Hamburg"