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USC Receives $1.3M Nanoscience Grant

September 4, 2003

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of South Carolina a $1.3 million grant to research the ethics of nanoscience, which is the study of atoms and molecules.

The four-year grant is a major step forward for the university’s nanoscience research, USC said. In June 2001, the university created its NanoCenter, which brings together faculty from science, math and engineering to conduct research. The university sees the efforts as gaining a better foothold in emerging technology.

``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,″ said Davis Baird, head of the university’s research team. ``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.″

The grant will address the societal implications and ethics surrounding nanoscience technology, which seeks to control and manipulate matter on a molecular scale. The grant is among the largest ever awarded by the National Science Foundation to explore the consequences of an emerging science.

Nanotechnology has already yielded familiar products, including clear sunscreen that blocks UV rays and stain-resistant pants.

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