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UCSB graduate student praised for presentation on findings on histories of nanotechnology advocates
Mary Ingram-Waters, graduate fellow with the National Science Foundation's Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) and Ph.D. student in sociology at UC Santa Barbara, has won the award for "Best Poster" at the Symposium on Social Studies of Nanotechnology in Philadelphia. Her poster is entitled "Space Flight, Frostbite, and Foresight: Exploring the Connections Between the Pro-Space, Cryonics, and Nano Social Movements." The award comes with a $500 cash prize, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania's Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC).
"It's encouraging that the judges found my research to be both interesting and worthy of the prize 'best poster,'" said Mary Ingram-Waters. "I think we can learn a lot about how nanotechnology emerged into public discourse by looking at the histories of those nanotechnology advocates who popularized the concept in the 1980s. Over the next year, I plan to continue this line of research with Professor Patrick McCray here at CNS-UCSB by interviewing more of nanotechnology's early advocates."
Ingram-Waters' poster demonstrated her research on social movement theory to understand the activities of advocates for space colonies, nanotechnology, and cryonics in the 1970s and 1980s. Several Ph.D. students competed in the poster competition, presenting their own individual academic research. In awarding the prize to Ingram-Waters, the judges praised Ingram-Waters in particular for her articulate and enthusiastic presentation.
Ingram-Waters is a two-time recipient of CNS-UCSB's Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to her work at CNS-UCSB, she was a research fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Studies on Science, Technology, and Society (IAS-STS), in Graz, Austria, and the recipient of the doctoral fellowship at the Capps Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. She earned a master's degree in sociology from UC Santa Barbara, and bachelor's degrees in sociology and theater arts from the State University of West Georgia.
The Symposium on Social Studies of Nanotechnology was a joint project between University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. It gathered experts from around the country to discuss emerging issues in nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on a very small scale. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter. By comparison, DNA is two nanometers wide, a red blood cell is 10,000 nanometers wide, and a single strand of hair is 100,000 nanometers thick. Nanotechnology holds great potential in virtually every sector of the economy, including electronics, medicine, and energy.
The mission of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara is to serve as a national research and education center, a network hub among researchers and educators concerned with nanotechnologies' societal impacts, and a resource base for studying these impacts in the U.S. and abroad.
The CNS carries out innovative and interdisciplinary research in three key areas:
· the historical context of nanotechnologies;
· the institutional and industrial processes of technological innovation of nanotechnologies along with their global diffusion and comparative impacts; and
· the social risk perception and response to different applications of nanotechnologies.
The CNS is funded by an award from the National Science Foundation.
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