Christopher Newfield, “Is Nanotechnology Changing Scientific Collaboration? Survey Evidence from a Nano-Oriented Campus”

This article presents and interprets the findings of a 2007 survey of 1,939 individuals involved in nanotechnology-related research at a large university in the Western United States. Nanotechnology had long been described by policymakers and researchers themselves as a particularly interdisciplinary field. The survey sought to discover how widely this perspective is held by rank-and-file researchers, and to characterize the nature of the collaboration. The project’s three hypotheses, all of which were confirmed by the survey results, were:

H1 Nanotechnology currently functions less as a professional identity and more as a set of research practices at the nanoscale.

H2—Nanotechnologists engage in more interdisciplinary collaboration than do other scientists, in the sense of being more likely to work with more than one laboratory at a time.

H3: Nanoscale researchers do not show levels of interest in collaboration outside of their home discipline that are higher than those of researchers from established disciplines.

Link to Article


Christopher Newfield discusses transparency and public narratives in nanotechnology research, specifically in relation to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in “Avoiding Network Failure: The Case of the National Nanotechnology Initiative

Patrick McCray’s “From Lab to iPod” details the development of “spintronics,” an early nanotechnology that found great success in the electronics market. McCray pays particular attention to the interplay of basic scientific research, corporate development, and policy discourse.

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