Modeling molecules: Computational nanotechnology as a knowledge community

Perspectives on Science 17 (2):pp. 144-173 (2009)
I propose that a sociological and historical examination of nanotechnologists can contribute more to an understanding of nanotechnology than an ontological definition. Nanotechnology emerged from the convergent evolution of numerous "technical knowledge communities"-networks of tightly-interconnected people who operate between disciplines and individual research groups. I demonstrate this proposition by sketching the co-evolution of computational chemistry and computational nanotechnology. Computational chemistry arose in the 1950s but eventually segregated into an ab initio, basic research, physics-oriented flavor and an industry-oriented, molecular modeling and visualization, biochemical flavor. Computational nanotechnology arose in the 1990s as a synthesis of these two subgroups, infused by people and practices from computational materials science, engineering, computer science, and elsewhere. I show that to understand the aims and outcomes of computational nanotechnology-and nanotechnology more generally-we need to understand relationships between different, but related, nano knowledge communities and their dependence on particular practices, artifacts, and theories.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1162/posc.2009.17.2.144
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,169
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Simulations, Models, and Theories: Complex Physical Systems and Their Representations.Eric Winsberg - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S442-.
Models, Simulations, and Their Objects.Sergio Sismondo - 1999 - Science in Context 12 (2).
Experimenting on Theories.Deborah Dowling - 1999 - Science in Context 12 (2).

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
20 ( #253,624 of 2,191,856 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #288,547 of 2,191,856 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature