USC receives $1.35 million grant from NSF for study of emerging nanotechnology

October 18, 2005

USC receives $1.35 million grant from NSF for study of emerging nanotechnology

The University of South Carolina has received a grant of $1.35 million from the National Science Foundation for a study on the growing role of nanotechnology in society.

The grant is the second to Dr. Davis Baird, the study's lead researcher, who received a $1.3 million NSF grant in 2003 to study the ethical and societal implications of nanotechnology.

The new grant will support two specific research studies and an educational outreach initiative.

One study, "Imagine, Imagining and Understanding the Nanoscale," will examine how images tell people about the nanoscale. The other, "Research Culture and Nanostructured Materials," will examine how research on nanoscale materials is changing the practices of scientists and engineers.

The grant also will enable USC to expand its educational outreach program, the S.C. Citizens' School of Nanotechnology, to reach minority populations and launch a program for government leaders and policymakers.

"USC is becoming an international leader in the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology," said Baird, a professor of philosophy and dean of South Carolina Honors College. "One of the strengths at USC is the interdisciplinary approach that we can give research because of our close relationships between science and the humanities."

Baird's research team includes Dr. Ann Johnson, an assistant professor in USC's departments of history and philosophy; Dr. Otavio Bueno, an associate professor in USC's philosophy department; Dr. David Berube, a professor in USC's English department; and Dr. Susanna Priest, an associate professor in USC's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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