“Nanotechnology” is the first boom science of the twenty-first century. Yet what nanotechnologists do, and how they came to be doing it, is still unclear. The Chemical Heritage Foundation invites scholars in the history, sociology, and anthropology of any of the fields that are being incorporated into nanotechnology to submit abstracts (350 words or less) for its annual Cain Conference on March 19, 2005. Abstracts are due by December 1, 2004.
With the founding of myriad national, corporate, and academic nano-initiatives in 2000, nanotechnology became a mainstream way of framing research. Yet public and analytical understanding of nano – particularly its origins – is still limited. In part, these issues can be approached by examining the histories of nanotechnology’s constituent communities. As nanotechnology has gained credibility and institutional support, it has welcomed or appropriated a wide variety of technical subcultures. To date, histories of most of these fields have not foreshadowed the sudden importance of nano to their participants. Yet a better understanding of the history and social organization of these communities – singly and together – will elucidate the history of nanotechnology.
buckyballs, nanotubes, and other canonically nano materials
Papers need not tell an explicit story about the history of nanotechnology. They should, however, describe one (or more) of nano’s constituent communities in the pre- or proto-nano period – experimental and theoretical cultures, training, placement within corporate, national, and academic institutions, sources of funding, professionalization, modes of collaboration, general orientation to other subfields – with a view to explaining the conditions under which this community became a part of nanotechnology today.
Chemical Heritage Foundation
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