NISE Network: Overview of the NISE Network Evaluation
Nanoscience is an emerging scientific field, and therefore an increasing amount of funding is flowing into nanoscience and nanotechnology research, including money from the federal government. Several studies of public understanding and public attitudes toward nanoscience have shown that most of the public is generally uninterested in and unmotivated to learn about nanoscale science and technology3. Because this emerging interdisciplinary field of science offers so much promise, and because it will have an increasing presence in everyday life, the NSF is committed to increasing public awareness and understanding of nanoscience: what it is, how it works, and the potential social and ethical implications for its development and use. The challenge for NSF then is to find ways to invest relatively small amounts of funds to create mechanisms that effectively communicate with the public on a large scale about an abstract topic of current scientific research and development. Not only does NSF wish to communicate this science research on a timely basis, but they also would like to create an ongoing capacity for future communication of nanoscience as well, and perhaps, other areas of emergent science topics. NISE Net is an investment in building a large scale and continuing capacity for communicating with the public. Included in this report are interview protocols and surveys used in the study.