The Center’s research program is designed as a systems-level analysis of nanoscale research and development, the global diffusion of nanotechnologies, and responses to nanotechnologies as they emerge. Research is organized within three interdisciplinary research groups:


IRG 1: Origins, Institutions, and Communities, seeks to develop a rich understanding of the historical underpinnings of the current landscape of the nano-enterprise.

IRG 2: Globalization and Nanotechnology , develops a comprehensive understanding of global development and collaboration and competition in the diffusion of nanotechnology, with an emphasis on East and South Asia. 

IRG 3: Nanotechnology Risk Perception and Social Response, studies risk and benefit perception among experts and publics; media framing of nano risks; and methods for engaging diverse U.S. publics in upstream/midstream deliberation about new technologies in society.

Important features of our collective approach are an integrated, participatory relationship with nanoscientists; a focus on specific nanotechnologies such as nanoelectronics, nanoparticles such as quantum dots, and nanoporous materials; comprehensive consideration of their applications in industries like electronics, energy, environmental, and health; and employment of advanced spatial analytic methods and a global framework for analysis.

CNS researchers disseminate their findings to varied audiences in publications, reports, presentations, workshops and training sessions.