National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

Serving Nanoscale Science, Engineering & Technology

SEI Mission at NNIN

Science and engineering are major social forces, and the role and the impact of science and engineering are immense. With its vast user community conducting research in areas that will have large impacts on society, NNIN has a vital role to play in the learning, understanding, development of a social and ethical consciousness of the implications of the research and development.

As an open network, a major technical resource with a large community of researchers, and an instrument for seeding national-scale change, NNIN provides many opportunities for research related to SEI, including learning from debates within the community regarding the ethical implications of the research and development. With its educational efforts, NNIN also seeks the development of an international outlook in the development of tomorrow’s leaders through its student user community.

SEI efforts within NNIN therefore embody both the network’s research and educational pursuits. NNIN has organized its efforts to take advantage of the network’s unique strengths as a national resource with geographic diversity and technical breadth.


The goals of NNIN’s SEI efforts are:

  • To develop societal and ethical consciousness within the NNIN user community and the broader nanotechnology community, and
  • To broaden the exploration of the ethical and societal implications of nanotechnology at NNIN and in the broader nanotechnology community.

Strategies and Activities

NNIN meets its goals through the following activities:

  • Training and educational opportunities in SEI for NNIN users.
  • Stimulating SEI research on NNIN users and technologies.
  • Disseminating the outcomes of SEI research at NNIN and in the broader nanotechnology and scientific community