An International and Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, March 4-7, 2004 _________________________________________________________________

This Conference will explore theoretical, pictorial and textual representations of nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) from cross-disciplinary perspectives, including microscopy, molecular modeling, scientific illustration, philosophy, science studies, art theory, and literature studies.

With new imaging techniques, such as STM and AFM, the rapid emergence of NSE is inherently linked to visual representations. In various disciplines, computer-generated pictures of nanoscale objects have become standard means of communication. The public’s perception of NSE is influenced by high-gloss popular science images of the nanoscale. New art forms also depict a nanoscale world.

The Conference aims at a better understanding of the epistemological dimensions of modeling and picture-generating instrumentation; the semiotic dimensions of pictorial representations; the linguistic dimension of images in interdisciplinary discourse; the pragmatic dimension of image usage in different cultural contexts and for different purposes; and the aesthetic dimensions of visualization.

From Stanislaw Lem to Michael Crichton, from Richard Feynman to Eric Drexler, the feasibilities, benefits, and risks of NSE have engaged our imaginations before research gained access to the nanoscale. Unlike any other research field, NSE is now imbued by a large array of visionary literature, including futurology, techno-visions, science policy reports, science fiction, and investor guides. Movies and the visual arts have enlarged the extent to which the public imagination of NSE has become dominated by these visionary images. The Conference also aims to understand the diversity of this literature and its impact on the imagination of scientists, science managers and policy makers, science journalists, science teachers, and the public at large.

Please send an abstract of 500 words in MS Word by December 1, 2003 to Conny Chen <[email protected]>.

Please send inquiries to members of The Program Committee:

– Davis Baird, Philosophy <[email protected]> – Otávio Bueno, Philosophy <[email protected]> – Steven Lynn, English <[email protected]> – Richard Ray, Engineering <[email protected]> – Chris Robinson, Art <[email protected]> – Joachim Schummer, Philosophy <[email protected]>

For more information, please visit the conference website:

The conference is sponsored by – National Science Foundation – USC College of Liberal Arts – USC NanoCenter