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Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB

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NSEC: Center for Nanotechnology in Society at University of California, Santa Barbara  (University of California-Santa Barbara)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara (CNS-UCSB) is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NSECs address complex, interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscale science and engineering, and integrate research with education internally and through a variety of partnership activities.

CNS-UCSB serves as a national research and education center, a network hub among researchers and educators concerned with societal issues concerning nanotechnologies, and a resource base for studying these issues in the United States and abroad. The Center addresses education for a new generation of social science and nanoscience professionals, and it conducts research on the historical context of the nano-enterprise, on innovation processes and global diffusion of nanotech, and on risk perception and the public sphere. CNS-UCSB researchers address a linked set of social and environmental issues regarding the domestic and global creation, development, commercialization, production, consumption, and control of specific kinds of nanoscale technologies.

Education & Outreach

CNS-UCSB brings together researchers and students in the social sciences, humanities, engineering, and science to create new, critically-needed collaborative education programs. It sponsors new undergraduate curriculum, research internships, and community events. These events and activities take place in collaboration with the California NanoSystems Institute.

The Undergraduate Summer Internships program is one of the Center’s many education and outreach efforts. The internship program brings undergraduate students from around California to the UCSB campus for an 8-week summer research experience. Interns gain first-hand experience in the investigation of the societal issues relating to nanotechnology in a dynamic, collaborative research environment. Participants are matched individually with nanotechnology, social science, and humanities faculty and graduate student mentors who provide training and support.

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