Activities

Conduct a longitudinal study assessing diversity and opportunity in the nanotechnology workforce, observing and documenting the following factors:

  1. The history of the growth and changes in the workforce and careers in nanotechnology at the national level
    • Track number of professional nanotechnology associations.
    • Track 2-year technical degrees, certificates, 4-year and graduate degrees in nanotechnology.
    • Track users at NNIN facilities.
    • Survey nanotechnology firms re: jobs available, type of industry, skills and education desired by employers, and who is being hired.
    • Identify nanotechnology regional hubs.
  2. The impact of nanotechnology on student career outcomes
    • Extend tracking to all nanotechnology students at UW.
    • Utilize UW mentoring database information.
    • Conduct interviews with graduates from UW nanotechnology Ph.D. program.

Examine the growth of nanotechnology as a field and discipline and its impact on society

  1. Maturity of the discipline
    • Track number of academic journals specializing in nanotechnology.
    • Track number of academic articles published on nanotechnology each year
  2. The nature of the advances resulting from the research (i.e., ongoing R&D activities)
  3. Popular public perceptions of nanotechnology in mass media (e.g., news, movies, popular fiction)

Examine the patterns of communication within the SEI management team and the UW user facility

  1. Identify the strategies for multi-disciplinary, cross-site collaboration and work within the NNIN.
    • Conduct multi-method study of communication activity and collaboration within the NNIN
    • In process of designing research protocol; have read and abstracted 15 studies
    • Collaborating with Kirsty Mills at the University of New Mexico
  2. Identify the strategies for multi-disciplinary, cross-site collaboration and work within the UW nanotechnology user facility (NTUF).
    • Conduct a case study of a multi-disciplinary nanotechnology research team at UW based on observations
    • Research to begin in October 2004
    • Collaborating with NTUF staff

Examine social and ethical implications of nanotechnology research

  1. Assess current and future implications of nanotechnology.
    • Conduct a critical literature review, including historical research on past industrial and technological revolutions
    • In process of reviewing literature; have reviewed approx. 15 articles so far
    • Plan to collaborate with Bruce Lewenstein at Cornell University, Kirsty Mills at UNM and Tim Lenoir at Stanford
  2. Assess curricular modules available at the NNIN institutions that address ethical issues in nanotechnology
    • Build a database of courses available
    • In process of collecting information
    • Collaborating with Kirsty Mills at the University of New Mexico
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