Dr. Stevenson Goes to Washington

On May 20, 2014 Dr. Keith Stevenson, Director of the Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology, gave testimony at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology hearing entitled “Nanotechnology: From Laboratories to Commercial Products.”  The purpose of this hearing was to examine the current state of nanotechnology research and development as well as future opportunities in the field, and to consider the federal funding levels of nanotechnology research and development and legislative initiatives regarding nanotechnology policy.

Dr. Stevenson was one of five invited speakers.  He was joined by Dr. Timothy Persons (Chief Scientist, United States Government Accountability Office), Dr. Lloyd Whitman (Interim Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and Deputy Director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology), Dr. Mark Hersam (Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, Northwestern University), and Mr. Les Ivie (President & CEO, F Cubed, LLC).

In his written testimony, Dr. Stevenson had this to say about the importance of federal funding to nanotechnology research and development:

“Since the launch of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2001 the US has established itself as a foremost leader in nanoscience and technology and continues to maintain prominence in a variety of important science, engineering and technology areas. In particular, federal support has allowed us to learn a great deal about the unique and important properties of matter that emerge when confined to the nanoscale. A tremendous amount of new knowledge has arisen from federal support of nanoscale science and engineering evidenced by the establishment of at least 50 new scientific journals (e.g. Nature Nanotechnology, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Nano Today, Small, Nanomedicine, Nanotoxicology) dedicated to nano-related topics with high scientific impact factors. The nano community is now well positioned to address more complex issues of how the functionality of these properties can be tuned and exploited in real world materials and devices, and more importantly how we can predict, design and control the functionality of new materials. For instance, the launch of several new research initiatives (Materials Genome, Mesoscale Science, Brain Initiative) are inextricably intertwined with the advances and breakthroughs made in nanoscience and nanotechnology. In many respects, these initiatives have sprung out of and build upon the fundamental advances made in the support of nanotechnology research.”

To read Dr. Stevenson’s written testimony in full, visit http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-SY14-WState-KStevenson-20140520.pdf.

The archived webcast of the hearing is accessible via the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology webpage: http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-research-and-technology-nanotechnology-laboratories-commercial-products.