© 2017

Nanotechnology and Scientific Communication

Ways of Talking about Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Society (2004-2008)


  • Examines a diversity of voices within the nanoscience community, from interviews with prominent scientists to observations in the field

  • Presents nuanced perspectives of scientists on emerging science, ethics, and society

  • Identifies elements of a distinctive way of speaking about science and technology


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Deborah R. Bassett
    Pages 1-22
  3. Deborah R. Bassett
    Pages 55-75
  4. Deborah R. Bassett
    Pages 77-113
  5. Deborah R. Bassett
    Pages 115-130
  6. Deborah R. Bassett
    Pages 131-140
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 141-155

About this book


This study examines findings from a 4-year-long ethnography of communication among a research university’s community of scientists and engineers working in nanoscience and nanotechnology. It includes analysis of 20 in-depth interviews with scientists and engineers from 18 different disciplines self-identified as working in nanoscale science and engineering. Using multiple methods of inquiry, including fieldwork, interviews, and textual analysis, elements of a shared speech code are presented, each of which indicate culturally distinctive understandings of psychology, sociology and rhetoric. In particular, the interview data addresses questions such as “What kind of person is a scientist?” “What is the role of science in society?” and “What is the role of communication in science?” This book will appeal to readers interested in science and society, scientific communication, and ethnography of communication.


Nanotechnology national nanotechnology initiative Mihail Roco speech codes science

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA

About the authors

Deborah R. Bassett is Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Communication at the University of West Florida, USA where she conducts research and teaches courses in communication and culture. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Washington, USA.

Bibliographic information