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Science and technology convergence: with emphasis for nanotechnology-inspired convergence

  • William S. Bainbridge
  • Mihail C. Roco
Perspectives

Abstract

Convergence offers a new universe of discovery, innovation, and application opportunities through specific theories, principles, and methods to be implemented in research, education, production, and other societal activities. Using a holistic approach with shared goals, convergence seeks to transcend existing human limitations to achieve improved conditions for work, learning, aging, physical, and cognitive wellness. This paper outlines ten key theories that offer complementary perspectives on this complex dynamic. Principles and methods are proposed to facilitate and enhance science and technology convergence. Several convergence success stories in the first part of the 21st century—including nanotechnology and other emerging technologies—are discussed in parallel with case studies focused on the future. The formulation of relevant theories, principles, and methods aims at establishing the convergence science.

Keywords

Nanoscale science and engineering Convergence science Convergence–divergence cycle Supporting theories Principles and methods for convergence General purpose technology Intelligent cognitive assistant 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This manuscript was written in conjunction with the NSF/World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC) international study on Convergence of Knowledge, Technology, and Society. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the US National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET), which is the principal organizing body for the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Science FoundationArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.National Nanotechnology InitiativeWashingtonUSA

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