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"There needs to be a balance between exploiting nano- technology for economic benefits and sufficiently monitoring the social impact."  

-Workshop roundtable discussion


Policy Roundtable: Nanotechnology and Society: The Organization and Policy of Innovation

May 18, 2007, University of Massachusetts Amherst



Douglas Anderton, Associate Dean of Research Affairs, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Douglas L. Anderton is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, a professor of sociology, Director of the Social and Demographic Research Institute and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. His research emphasizes quantitative-historical analysis of population and environment interactions. He is the author of over fifty journal articles and has co-authored several books, including: Demography: Study of Human Populations (2001), Population of the United States (1998), Fertility on the Frontier (1993) and an edited series, Readings in Population Research Methodology (1997). He is currently editor of the journal Social Science History. His most recent research projects include a study of the Grammars of Death (NIH) and changing precision in death classification over the mortality transition in emerging industrial communities in nineteenth-century New England, and Decision-Making for Emergent Technologies (NSF-Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing), examining the influences on public reaction in cases of extreme uncertainty.

John Armstrong, IBM VP, Science and Technology (ret.)

Dr. Armstrong moved to Amherst from Westchester County, N.Y., following his retirement from IBM in 1993, where during a 30-year career his positions included vice president for science and technology and IBM director of research. He is a member of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. In 1996 he joined the Dean's Advisory Council of the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He and his wife, Elizabeth, founded the Armstrong Endowment to support a full-time professor within the College. Armstrong has served as a presidential appointee as a member of the National Science Board, and is a former chair of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Armstrong has an A.B. and a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and was a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers from 1990 to 1996.

Otávio Bueno, Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami

Otávio Bueno is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. Most of his research is in philosophy of science, and in the last few years, he has examined the function of various kinds of microscopes in shaping our understanding of nanoscale phenomena. His research on societal implications of nanotechnology has been funded by multiple awards from the National Science Foundation, and he is currently working on a book on visual perception of nanoscale phenomena. He is the author of two books and over 80 papers in journals and collections, and has held visiting professorships or fellowships at Princeton University, University of York (in the UK), University of Leeds, and the University of São Paulo.

Rafael Burgos-Mirabal, Ph.D. student in Organization Studies, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Rafael Burgos-Mirabal is a Ph.D. student at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Burgos-Mirabal is focusing on organization studies.

Geoff Cooper, University of Surrey

Geoff Cooper graduated from Goldsmiths College in sociology. After obtaining a post-graduate qualification in computing, and designing computer based training packages for a software house, he did a Ph.D. on the discourse of human-computer interaction. Before joining the department he worked at Brunel University, investigating changes in research culture. He has been at Surrey since 1994, and served as Head of Department from 2002 to 2006.  Dr. Cooper teaches courses on sociological theory at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and supervises a number of PhD students.

Intellectual interests fall into two broad areas, the sociology of scientific knowledge and technology, and theoretical and methodological issues in social science.  More specific research topics include: deconstruction and sociology; the formation, organisation and significance of intellectual and disciplinary boundaries; the social shaping of technology, particularly mobile telecommunications; sociological dimensions of energy use; changing research culture and forms of accountability; the mediation of scientific knowledge and its effects.

He is currently: completing work on an ESRC project on the mediation of financial understandings of nanotechnology; co-editing a forthcoming collection ‘Sociological Objects: the reconfiguration of sociological theory’; and a co-investigator on the ESRC funded inter-disciplinary research group on Research on Lifestyles, Values and Environment.

Nick DeCristofaro, Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dr. DeCristofaro is Director of the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  CVIP is responsible for evaluating, protecting and commercializing inventions and discoveries created by its academic researchers on the Amherst campus. We strive to create a customer-friendly system that assists faculty, staff and students in securing sponsored research funds and to transform ideas, inventions and creative works into commercially viable products, processes and services that have economic payback to the inventors, the sponsors and the university.

Lee Dillard-Adams, Deputy Regional Director, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Lee Dillard Adams currently serves as the Deputy Director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office.  She manages permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities for air quality control; hazardous and sold waste management; industrial wastewater management; and toxics use reduction – primarily with respect to industrial commercial entities.  She is also responsible for Massachusetts’ oversight of the clean up and redevelopment of the former Fort Devens Army base.

Recently, Lee managed MassDEP’s project to develop streamlined operational environmental regulations for the biotech industry.  DEP’s new biotech regulations, part of a larger initiative led by the Executive Offices of Environmental Affairs and Economic Development, were promulgated in Fall 2005.

Mary Ebeling, Assistant Professor of Culture and Communication, Drexel University

Mary Ebeling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Culture & Communication at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mary is currently the Principle Investigator for an exploratory research project investigating the emerging nanobiotech sector developing in Philadelphia and the societal impacts stakeholders in its development are considering, including bioethical concerns.  From 2005-2006, Mary served as Principal Investigator for “Spinning Science: The Nanotech Industry and Financial News”, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)’s Science in Society Programme.  In this position she conducted a one year qualitative, ethnographic study examining the primary relationship between financial news sources—the scientists and public relations agents working in the emerging nanotechnology sector—and the science and financial journalists covering the field.

Mary holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Surrey, UK, a M.Sc.J in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Mary is the co-author of two forthcoming articles in Sociological Research Online and Science Communication.

Bill Ennen, Program Director, John Adams Innovation Institute, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Region by region, sector by sector, the John Adams Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative strives to improve Massachusetts’ competitive edge in the Innovation Economy, supporting industry clusters and institutions in efforts to stimulate new job creation and job retention in knowledge- and technology-based companies.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state’s development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy, which is responsible for one-quarter of all jobs in the state. MTC administers the John Adams Innovation Institute and the Renewable Energy Trust. We work to stimulate economic activity in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Emily Erikson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Emily Erikson is assistant professor of sociology at UMass. Her research interests include economic integration, the role of eastern markets in the development of capitalism, the relationship between organizational and network structure, and network dynamics. Her research incorporates multiple methods and uses a social mechanism-based explanatory approach to social processes. Recent research includes how organizations shape the expansion of foreign trade, the indirect effects of centralized authority on community-level relations, and the role of decentralized Asian markets in 17th-century market expansion. Her most recent publication, co-authored with Peter Bearman and published in AJS, traced the positive impact of employee malfeasance in the English East India Company on organizational growth and the construction of the first global trade network. This research was covered by UPI and Scientific American. In addition to her teaching and research activities, Professor Erikson serves as Associate Editor for Social Science History.

Diane Flaherty, Chair, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Diane Flaherty's research is in the areas of comparative economic systems, worker-self management and regional economics, with emphasis on the process of globalization at the level of the firm. Her writings have been published in such journals as The Cambridge Journal of Economics, Soviet Studies and Industrial Relations. Her most recent work includes Manufacturing Structure and Regional Inequality in South Africa (1999). She is currently working on firm-level responses to competitive threat as a determinant of patterns of globalization. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University. 

Jane Fountain, Director, Science, Technology and Society Initiative and Professor, Political Science and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jane E. Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, is founder and Director of the National Center for Digital Government, Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Initiative, Director of the Women in the Information Age Program, and Interim Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a senior researcher with the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing. Her research is focused at the intersection of institutions, global information and communication technologies, and governance. 

Fountain is the author of Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), which was awarded an Outstanding Academic Title 2002 by Choice, and has been translated into and published in Chinese, Portuguese and Japanese. Her current book project, Women in the Information Age (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), focuses on gender, institutions and technology. She has published research on information and communication technology and the development of networked forms of organization and governance in Governance, Technology in Society, Science and Public Policy, The Communications of the ACM, and other scholarly journals. Fountain has served on several governing bodies convened to foster research on information and communication technologies and governance. She holds a double PhD from Yale University in organizational behavior and in political science.

Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution, National Institutes of Health

Howard Gadlin has been Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health since the beginning of 1999. Before that he was University Ombudsperson at UCLA from 1992 through 1998. He was also director of the UCLA Conflict Mediation Program and co-director of the Center for the Study and Resolution of Interethnic/Interracial Conflict. While in Los Angeles, Dr. Gadlin served as consulting Ombudsman to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Prior to coming to UCLA, Dr. Gadlin was Ombudsperson and Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

An experienced mediator, trainer, and consultant, Dr. Gadlin has years of experience working with conflicts related to race, ethnicity and gender, including sexual harassment. Currently he is developing new approaches to addressing conflicts among scientists. He is often called in as a consultant/mediator in “intractable” disputes. Dr. Gadlin has designed and conducted training programs internationally in dispute resolution, sexual harassment and multicultural conflict.

Dr. Gadlin is past President of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and of The Ombudsman Association (TOA). For three years, he was chair of the Ethics Committee of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. He also served 5 years as Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen. Dr. Gadlin is the author, among other writings, of ”Bargaining in the Shadow of Management: Integrated Conflict Management Systems,” “Conflict, Cultural Differences, and the Culture of Racism,” and “Mediating Sexual Harassment.”

Alan Gaitenby, Assistant Director, Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution

Alan Gaitenby is a Lecturer for the Department of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is also the Assistant Director of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution (CITDR). Gaitenby teaches Law's Mediation, Legal Fictions, Law and Social Activism, and Law and Cyberspace. His research and scholarship focus largely on the intersection of law and information technology, online dispute resolution, and the historical and current social constitutive power of databases and their application.

Jarice Hanson, Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Currently (and concurrent with UMass faculty position), she is the Verizon Chair in Telecommunications at the School of Communications and Theater, Temple University, Philadelphia. Author, co-author, and editor, or co-editor of 15 books, including the Taking Sides: Controversial Issues in Mass Media and Society, 3 volumes of Advances In Telematics, and Connections: Technologies of Communication, and 24/7: How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way We Live, Work, and Play. Research and teaching involve the relationship of media/digital technology and society; international telecommunications policies, and social and behavioral aspects of interacting with technology. Current research involves the social and behavioral aspects of cell phones and the Internet, and the emerging field of nanotechnology, and the impact of media coverage of the war in Iraq on rhetorical dimensions of dealing with democratic practices.

Jennifer Hill Geertsma, Ph.D. student, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jennifer Hill Geertsma is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her areas of interest include organizational theory, economic sociology, work and family.

Robert Hillger, Senior Science Advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, Boston

Robert Hillger graduated from Tufts University and Iowa State University with advance degrees in Civil Engineering, Geology, and Ecology.  He conducted field fecundity studies on the “Osteochillus hasselti” in Jakarta Indonesia in 1983 and then secured a position with the US EPA in 1985 with the Engineering Research Laboratory in Cincinnati Ohio.  He is responsible as a research engineer with the design, development and fabrication of engineering solutions to help solve environmental problems at numerous Superfund and RCRA sites throughout the US. 

Over the past 12 years, Robert has been on a variety assignments both as a Technical advisor and as a field engineer: 1991 served as Advisor to the Chief of the Navajo Nation on hazardous waste matters on tribal lands; 1992 – 1995, served as Science Advisor to the EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator; 1996 served as advisor in the development of national strategic plans for the Office of Research and Development in Washington DC in the Office of Science and Policy; and in 1997 – present served as the Senior Science Advisor to the Regional Administrator of Region 1.

As a National Expert in Oil Spills technology and Underground Storage Tanks,  a major part of his research and peer review publications focus on remediation, leak detection, public policy, federal regulations, and national standards (e.g.ASTM).  His current research and program work focuses on human health risk assessment; ecological diversity and water quality in New England watersheds; homeland security and emergency preparedness. 

He also founded EPA’s National Regional Science Council and is presently on the leadership council of the National Tribal Science Council. He holds membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers, National Water Well Association, American Society of Testing Materials, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

William Gibson, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Professor Bill Gibson’s degrees are in Agricultural and Resource Economics (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley), and Aerospace Engineering (Bachelor, Georgia Institute of Technology); he also holds an MBA (University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business).

Professor Gibson teaches courses in the fields of development economics, international trade and open economy macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematical economics. His approach is quantitative and his classes use computer simulations to explore the implications of various approaches to economics. The emphasis in his classes is on theory that can be used to analyze real policy problems. Prof. Gibson's main research interest has been in macromodels for developing countries. He has been an economic advisor to various governments, including Mexico, Bolivia, Nicaragua (under the Sandinistas) and South Africa (under the African National Congress). His current research is on economic policy in the era of globalization.

Professor Gibson has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, UMass, Notre Dame, La Molina in Peru, El Colegio de Mexico and has been a consultant to the Harvard Institute for International Development, Ford Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations University in Helsinki.

George Kachen, Director, Research and Technology Development

George Kachen has performed research and development in the aerospace industry and government laboratories for over 35 years. He has utilized this strong technical background to provide business development and marketing of high tech products and services so as to successfully improve the bottom line of several companies. George has a Ph.D. in laser physics and BS in engineering physics from Univ of Calif., and MS in nuclear engineering from MIT.
George currently serves as the Director of Research and Technology at UMass Lowell.

Ethan Katsh, Director, Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Professor Katsh is a graduate of the Yale Law School and has authored three books on law and technology, Law in a Digital World (Oxford University Press, 1995) The Electronic Media and the Transformation of Law (Oxford University Press, 1989), and, with Professor Rifkin, Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts in Cyberspace (2001). His articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, and other law reviews and legal periodicals. His work has been the subject of a Review Essay in Law and Social Inquiry (Summer 2002).

Since 1996, Professor Katsh has been involved in a series of activities related to online dispute resolution. He participated in the Virtual Magistrate project and was founder and co-director of the Online Ombuds Office. In 1997, with support from the Hewlett Foundation, he and Professor Rifkin founded the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts. In 2001, he received a grant from the Markle Foundation to improve accessibility to domain name dispute rulings. Currently, Professor Katsh is co-principal investigator with Professors Lee Osterweil and Norman Sondheimer of the Department of Computer Science of a three year National Science Foundation grant "Process Technology for Achieving Government Online Dispute Resolution" to research efforts of the National Mediation Board to employ online dispute resolution.
From 1997-1999, Professor Katsh mediated a variety of disputes online, involving domain name/trademark issues, other intellectual property conflicts, disputes with Internet Service Providers, and others. In the Spring of 1999, he supervised a project with the online auction site eBay, in which over 150 disputes were mediated during a two week period. During the Summer of 1999, he co-founded, which later worked with eResolution to become one of four providers accredited by ICANN to resolve domain name disputes. He is also an adviser to, an Internet start-up focusing on online ADR.

Professor Katsh chaired the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Expert Group on ODR and coordinated the 2002 and 2003 UNECE Online Dispute Resolution Conferences and the 2004 and 2006 ODR Forums in Melbourne and Cairo that were held in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission on Asia and the Pacific. He has been Visiting Professor of Law and Cyberspace at Brandeis University, is on the Board of Advisors of the Democracy Design Workshop, serves on the legal advisory board of the InSites E-governance and Civic Engagement Project. and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Professor Katsh was selected to deliver the first of the 2006-2007 Distinguished Faculty Lectures sponsored by the UMass Amherst Chancellor's and Provost's offices.

Jay Kesan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professor Jay Kesan’s academic interests are focused in the areas of intellectual property and law and technology.  He has written extensively in the areas of law and regulation of cyberspace, intellectual property, and law and economics. At the University of Illinois, Professor Kesan holds positions in the College of Law, the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. 

Jay received his J.D. summa cum laude from Georgetown University, where he received several awards including Order of the Coif, and served as Associate Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.  After graduation, he clerked for Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Prior to attending law school, Jay Kesan—who also holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin—worked as a research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York.

Jay’s complete resume and bio can be found at

Karen Pelto, Associate Director of Research, Center for Public Policy and Administration

Karen Pelto oversees the development and execution of research programs, projects and initiatives of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and the Science, Technology and Society Initiative. A graduate of Hampshire College, Karen has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors, including the Massachusetts Riverways Program and the Charles River Watershed Association.  In 1999, she founded the first interagency program in the country focused on the selective removal of dams for river restoration.

Susanna Hornig Priest, University of South Carolina

Susanna Hornig Priest, Ph.D., holds degrees in anthropology, sociology and communications. She has studied media coverage and public opinion for risky technologies since the late 1980s, and has published around 60 research articles, chapters, and books on this and related topics.
She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is currently Director of Research for the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies at the University of South Carolina, as well as an affiliate of the university's Nanocenter, and she is currently conducting NSF-funded research on public understanding of nanotechnology.

David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

David Rejeski directs the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and the Foresight and Governance Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He was a Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and an agency representative (from EPA) to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Before moving to CEQ, he worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) on a variety of technology and R&D issues, including the development and implementation of the National Environmental Technology Initiative.

Before moving to OSTP, he was head of the Future Studies Unit at the Environmental Protection Agency. He spent four years in Hamburg, Germany, working for the Environmental Agency, Department of Public Health, and Department of Urban Renewal and, in the late 1970’s, founded and co-directed a non-profit involved in energy conservation and renewable energy technologies.
He has written extensively on science, technology, and policy issues, in areas ranging from genetics to electronic commerce and pervasive computing and is the co-editor of the recent book: Environmentalism and the Technologies of Tomorrow: Shaping the Next Industrial Revolution, Island Press 2004.

He sits on the advisory boards of a number of organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board; the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Research and Education; the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the Greening of Industry Network, and the University of Michigan’s Corporate Environmental Management Program. He has graduate degrees in public administration and environmental design from Harvard and Yale.

Michelle Sagan Goncalves, Program Manager and Research Associate, National Center for Digital Government

Michelle Sagan Gonçalves is the Program Manager and Research Associate for the NCDG. From 2005-2006 she was a NCDG Research Fellow investigating cross agency initiatives in the federal government with Dr. Jane Fountain. Gonçalves holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Bachelor of Arts (Summa Cum Laude) from Providence College.

Representative Ellen Story, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies

Ellen Story is the MA State Representative for the Third Hampshire District, which consists of the towns of Amherst and Granby. Representative Story holds a B.A from the University of Texas and an M.Ed. from Cambridge College.




This roundtable is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0531171, the University of Massachusetts Office of the Vice Provost for Research (Research Leadership in Action Program), and the Center for Public Policy and Administration.


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