Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Arizona State University awarded $6.5 million to study nanotechnology and society

Abstract:
National Science Foundation has renewed its grant to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University for another five years

Arizona State University awarded $6.5 million to study nanotechnology and society

Tempe, AZ | Posted on October 13th, 2010

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $6.5 million to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) to continue its work regarding the societal aspects of nanotechnology for another five years. CNS-ASU was founded in 2005 when NSF made its first five-year award of $6.2 million to Arizona State University to create the center. These awards are part of NSF's initiative to support research and education on nanotechnology and social change, as well as educational and public outreach activities, and international collaborations.

In 2001, the federal government established the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which identifies "responsible development" as one of four strategic goals for nanotechnology research. This award to CNS-ASU reflects NSF's commitment to investigating the societal aspects of this promising but uncertain technology.

"As technology moves forward into the nano sphere and across thousands of applications, we need new tools to help guide decision making to ensure the best and highest net impact of use," said ASU president Michael M. Crow. "CNS will focus on this critical set of complex questions and will provide a new level of systems thinking with regard to these future technologies and their use."

Nanotechnology allows controlling matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Societal benefits of using the science to create new materials, devices for medicine, electronics and energy production could be transformative. But creating such things through molecular manipulation raises not only health and safety risks but ethical and legal questions as well.

In their first five years, CNS-ASU researchers have worked side by side with scientists, engineers, social scientists, scholars and decision makers to combine research, training and engagement to develop a new approach to governing emerging nanotechnologies. They have developed new knowledge and tools to increase the capacity for social learning that informs about the available choices in decision making, and to engage in anticipatory governance of nanotechnology -- the ability of society and institutions to seek and understand a variety of inputs to manage emerging technologies while such management is still possible.

"The biggest question for the Center," said David Guston, director and principal investigator at CNS-ASU and professor of politics and global studies, "is how far anticipatory governance can take us, not only in guiding societal research but in assuring the responsible development of nanotechnologies." Guston also is the co-director of ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO), which is CNS-ASU's parent organization.

Under the renewal, CNS-ASU will continue its collaborations with partner institutions Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin to further two types of integrated research programs. First, its programs in "real-time technology assessment" (RTTA) - a social science tool that relies on understanding the social, moral, political and economic dynamics of nanotechnologies - work to understand the evolving dynamics of the nano enterprise, discern the changing perspectives of the public and scientists about nanotechnologies, and develop techniques to foster deliberation on future nanotechnology applications and integration of social and humanistic perspectives into nano-scale science and engineering.

The second set of programs are thematic research clusters (TRCs), which pursue fundamental knowledge on particular nano-and-society themes. The first TRC, continuing from the earlier award, focuses on issues in equity, equality and responsibility in the development of nanotechnologies. Under the renewal, CNS-ASU will initiate a new TRC, "Urban Design, Materials and the Built Environment," which will launch and complete a problem-oriented stakeholder analysis for the creation, dissemination and sustainable use of nanotechnologies in urban environments.

"It is particularly important," Guston said, "to locate nanotechnologies in the city because cities are home to most of humanity and are also focal points of complex systems for such things as energy, water and transportation that will be sites for nanotechnological innovation." Assessing how nanotechnologies may or may not contribute to the sustainability of these systems in an urban context is the primary goal of this new program.

Under the renewal, CNS-ASU will also continue to pursue formal and informal educational opportunities and build new capacities among a broad array of stakeholders and the public. CNS-ASU provides: undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral education and research training; opportunities for K-12 teacher training, assistance and curricular development; engaging events for the public, such as science museum informal education and monthly Science Cafés; and practitioner training, such as its earlier development of piloted training modules in the ethical and societal implications of nanotechnology for scientists and engineers.

A sister Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, also is being renewed by NSF with a $6.1 million grant. "These Centers play a pivotal role in understanding and anticipating the potential societal impacts of nanotechnology and engaging multiple stakeholders in discussions about the future of emerging technologies," said Myron Gutmann, NSF assistant director of Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences. "They are truly interdisciplinary centers, spanning the social, natural and engineering sciences."

To find out more about CNS-ASU, visit online at cns.asu.edu

####

About Center for Nanotechnology in Society
Nanotechnology is expected by many to create "the next industrial revolution." Whether or not its social consequences are that profound, they will be wide-reaching. The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, signed into law in 2003, mandates "integrating research on societal, ethical and environmental concerns with nanotechnology research and development” to ensure that nanoscale science and engineering advances "bring about improvements in quality of life for all Americans."

CNS-ASU responds to this directive by building a new capability, in the United States and globally, for understanding and governing the transforming power of nanotechnology - what is known as "anticipatory governance."

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Cathy Arnold
Communication & Media Relations
Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes
Arizona State University

(480) 965-0555
cspo.org / cns.asu.edu

Copyright © Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Ethics

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application: Ethics and technology hold the key to the success of synthetic biology September 17th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

Preparing for Nano

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Academic/Education

Oxford Nanoimaging report on how the Nanoimager, a desktop microscope delivering single molecule, super-resolution performance, is being applied at the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology & Infection November 22nd, 2016

The University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria uses Deben tensile stages as an integral part of their computed tomography research and testing facility October 18th, 2016

Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education October 13th, 2016

New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF October 12th, 2016

Announcements

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

SUN shares its latest achievements during the 3rd Annual Project Meeting November 1st, 2016

The Sustainable Nanotechnologies Project’s Final Events: Bringing Nano Environmental Health and Safety Assessment to the Wider Discussion on Risk Governance of Key Enabling Technologies November 1st, 2016

Exploding smartphones: What's the silent danger lurking in our rechargeable devices? New research identifies toxic emissions released by lithium-ion batteries October 21st, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project