Integration scores ranged from 0.65 for nanoscience and nanotechnology to 0.60 for electrical engineering and 0.64 for organic chemistry.
"Our results show the multidisciplinary nature of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology, although the integration scores make it clear that much non-nano research is also comparably interdisciplinary," Porter said. "Much of the nanoresearch is also concentrated in 'macrodisciplines' such as materials science and chemistry, and researchers tend to cite work from neighboring fields more often than work in more distant fields."
Understanding the interdisciplinary nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology could be important to creating the right environment for the field to produce results.
"There is a broad perspective that most scientific breakthroughs occur at the interstices among more established fields," said Youtie. "Nanotechnology R&D is believed to be an area where disciplines converge. If nanotechnology does have a strong multidisciplinary character, attention to communication across disciplines will be an important feature in its emergence."
In the future, Porter and Youtie hope to explore other policy-focused nano topics, including:
"A nanodistrict is a regional concentration of research institutions and firm
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Georgia Institute of Technology Research News