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Ira Bennett studies policies and politics of emerging technologies, specifically nanotechnologies. His focus is on educational programs in nanotechnology in society, and skill sets not traditionally included in science and engineering graduate education, such as societal aspects and communicating with the public.
Bennett conducts CSPO’s annual 2-week workshop in Washington, D.C., “Science Outside the Lab,” where science and engineering graduate students have an intensive experience in the policy-making arena and the culture of our nation’s capital. He co-leads the Informal Science Communication Program for Graduate Students at ASU, which he and colleague Jameson Wetmore developed. Students in the program learn how to communicate to the public and they put their new skills to work doing demonstrations at the Arizona Science Center and elsewhere. Bennett also works closely with the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISEnet). Prior to his current position, Bennett was a postdoctoral researcher at CNS-ASU and CSPO, exploring state and regional investments in nanotechnology, and maintaining an international network of social scientists studying nanotechnology (International Nanotechnology and Society Network).