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The Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology (SDEST) program folds together two former NSF programs, Ethics and Values Studies, and Research on Science and Technology, in the Division of Social, Behavioral and Economic Research of the National Science Foundation. EVS was originally called Ethics and Values in Science and Technology (EVIST). SDEST is the only U.S. government program that regularly seeks proposals and regularly funds projects in environmental ethics.

In SDEST, the Ethics and Values Studies (EVS) component focuses on developing and transmitting knowledge about ethical and value dimensions associated with the conduct and impacts of science, engineering, and technology. The Research on Science and Technology (RST) component supports research to improve approaches and information for decision making concerning management and direction of research, science and technology.

Over the past few years, NSF has made approximately 40 new awards each year in these areas, with a budget of about $2.3 million. The overarching goals are: to improve approaches to research and information for and from research in these fields and to make research results of broad use in educational, policy and other settings; and to consider the implications of research results for the actions of a wide range of individuals and groups, as well as for theories and methods in all scientific and engineering fields.

Besides historical and philosophical modes of analysis, research on ethics and the conduct and impacts of science and engineering involves theories and methods from science and technology studies, applied ethics, and other areas of the social sciences and humanities. Research for decision making concerning science and technology takes an empirical approach to data collection and analysis. Information and analysis from the natural and physical sciences and engineering may also play a role in these research areas.

This site was originally maintained as an unofficial site for the program, which now has an official website of its own:

http://www.nsf.gov:80/sbe/sber/sdest/


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SDEST - SBE - NSF - CEP - March 22, 2005