COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 5 -- The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of South Carolina (USC) a $1.3 million grant to study the societal and ethical implications of nanoscience, the study of atoms and molecules.
The four-year grant is among the largest ever awarded by NSF to explore the consequences of an emerging science. The university said it is a major step forward for the university's nanoscience research.
"Our aim is to work with scientists and engineers who are developing this new science in order to understand this new technology and the social changes it will bring about," Baird said. "Together we want to address the societal implication of this emerging science so we can accurately convey to the public how nanotechnology may change society."
In June 2001, USC created its NanoCenter, which brings together faculty from science and math and engineering to conduct research.
Nanoscience has already resulted in products such as clear sunscreen that blocks UV rays, stain-resistant pants, tennis balls that last longer and stronger, lighter car bumpers. The new technology has left government and regulatory agencies to grapple with standards and safety issues and consumers to distinguish between reality and fiction, the university said.
For more information, visit: www.cla.sc.edu/cpecs/nirt