CNS-ASU Winter School 2016

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2016 Winter School

The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) held its fourth annual
Winter School on the Anticipatory Governance and Responsible Innovation of
Emerging Technologies

in January 2016 at Saguaro Lake Ranch in Mesa, AZ.

Applications are now being accepted for the new NNCI Winter School 2017!

To learn more about the Winter School experience, please see our brief video:

Activities | Faculty | Location | FAQ | Apply Now

Students talking at the 2013 Winter School


The CNS-ASU Winter School is designed to give participants an introduction to and practical experience with the methods and theory employed by CNS-ASU faculty and associates. The curricular content and activities are designed around our four Real-Time Technology Assessments (RTTA) and two Thematic Research Clusters (TRC).

More information on our RTTA and TRC projects can be found on our website.

Presentations describing the various tools, concepts and methods that guide CNS-ASU research activity will be supplemented by practical activities and rigorous discussion. Ample work time and breaks are built into the Winter School schedule to encourage participants to guide their own learning experience throughout the week. Mentorship sessions with available faculty will also be offered.

Students will be expected to give an informal presentation at the end of the week, discussing how these methods and tools could inform or otherwise be applicable to their own work.

Ira Bennett teaching at the 2013 Winter School


Faculty at the Winter School will include researchers from ASU, University of Wisconsin, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as special guests from other institutions. Hands-on, collaborative instruction will focus on innovative methods for investigating the societal aspects of emerging technologies.

Complete faculty information is forthcoming. For an idea of who will be involved, explore the faculty involved with CNS-ASU.

Saguaro Lake Ranch


The CNS-ASU Winter School is designed as a learning retreat, where students and faculty can focus on their work in a distraction-free environment. The Saguaro Lake Ranch in Mesa, AZ, roughly 50 minutes from Arizona State University, provides an ideal setting for this type of activity.

Outside of the curricular activities, winter school participants will have the opportunity to explore the wilderness surrounding the ranch and enjoy the serenity of the setting as a place for productivity and inspiration.

Ira Bennett teaching at the 2013 Winter School


What is a Winter School?

A winter school is an academic retreat held during the winter months, usually during the break between terms. Winter schools are often held away from campus in order to break students and faculty out of their routines and to encourage collaboration in new learning contexts.

Who should apply?

Applicants should be advanced graduate students or recent PhDs (post-doc or untenured faculty within 3 years of PhD at time of application) with an expressed interest in studying emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, geoengineering, etc.

Applicants may come from any discipline, but priority will be given to those whose research focuses on societal questions.

Applicants may come from any country, but they must be demonstrably proficient in English.

Why Apply?

The Winter School is an immersive experience for scholars who want to share their unique research and learn from peers and experts who use diverse approaches to investigate the human and social dimensions of emerging technologies. Winter School faculty will offer theoretical framings, analytical tools and hands-on lessons in responsible innovation, anticipatory governance and RTTA. Winter School will enrich your network of peers, and mentors and all participants will present their research at the Research Symposium on January 9.


Ira Bennett teaching at the 2013 Winter School

Apply Now

Applications available for the NNCI Winter School 2017. The applications must include:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Application page which includes an approximately 500-word statement that describes the applicant’s research interests related to emerging technologies, other relevant scholarly activities, and what the applicant hopes to gain from the Winter School
  • Names and contact information of two references.

Applications should be sent by email to with the subject: “Winter School.” All applicants will receive a confirmation email following their application submission.