Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  45 minutes
Date:  2013
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adults
Color/BW:  Color
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Will Nano Save the Planet?

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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?

Will Nano Save the Planet?

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?

'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

Citation

Main credits

Downie, Mike (Director)
Hamano, Takahiro (Producer)
Suzuki, David T. (Narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Ilona Crabbe; director of photography, Michael Sweeney; music, Ken Myhr.


Distributor credits

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Mike Downie
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)

Docuseek2 subjects

Science and Technology
Biology
Ecology
Energy
Environmental Health
Future Studies
Physical Science
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
Social Issues
Chemistry
Nanotechnology
Engineering

Distributor subjects

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

Keywords

environmental problems, nano solar cells, clean fuel additives, contaminant remediation, more dangerous pollutants, nano, nanotechnology, Vicki Colvin, cleaning arsenic out of groundwter, Ted Sargent, Peter Dobson, cerium oxide, diesel fuel, clean up emssions. Denis O'Carroll, nano remediation of soil, decay of nano-structured materials, Duke University, Mark Wiesner, silver nanoparticles, anti-bacterial, harming nature; "Will Nano Save the Planet?"; Bullfrog Films

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