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|One example of nanotechnology is this nanowire laser, a device in development in the laboratory of 2007 National Science Foundation Waterman awardee Peidong Yang of the University of California, Berkeley. |
Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller/NSF
Researchers at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara (CNS-UCSB), a center supported by NSF (award number 0938099), examined the contributions of foreign-born scientists to nanotechnology innovation. They looked at authorship of the top one percent of the most highly-cited articles on nanotechnology by U.S. scientists and engineers between 1999-2009.
While the role of foreign-born scientists in information technology and biotechnology innovation has been well studied, comparable studies on nanotechnology have been conspicuously absent. The prevalence of the foreign born in the American general population and scientific labor force was used as the benchmark for expected contributions to the nanotechnology industry. Research results concluded that the prevalence of foreign-born authors in nanotechnology publications exceeded that of the general population and the U.S. scientific community. Besides the U.S. (47 scientists), significant contributions came from China (21 scientists), India (eight scientists), and Germany (five scientists), and foreign-born contributions have steadily increased from 38 percent in 1999 to 73 percent in 2009. These findings point to the significance of non-native researchers in promoting U.S. nanotechnology innovation and indicate significant globalization within the American scientific and engineering communities.
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