Research Isn't Part of War Machine

Article excerpt

Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Richard Linton For The Register-Guard

The issue of research at American universities that is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense remains a point of contention, as illustrated by Brian Bogart's June 22 guest viewpoint.

As is the usual case with other U.S. research universities, the University of Oregon routinely submits proposals and accepts U.S. Department of Defense grants for nonclassified research. Research results are subject to peer review and are publicly disseminated through scholarly publication.

This nonclassified research at the university has been accomplished in fields ranging from civilian emergency preparedness to `green chemistry,' where researchers seek to minimize the impact of environmental hazards. As a matter of general policy, the UO does not allow classified research to be conducted at its facilities by university faculty, staff or students, irrespective of the funding source.

A specific example of nonclassified research currently seeking support from the U.S. Department of Defense is that associated with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. ONAMI is a collaboration involving the UO, Portland State University, Oregon State University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the state of Oregon and private industry. It is focused on researching and commercializing nanoscience and microtechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The Department of Defense funds will accelerate the university's research on developing environmentally friendly nanotechnology and associated manufacturing processes and on the advancement of approaches to fabricate and measure materials properties at the nanometer scale. The science of manipulating the smallest units of matter promises to revolutionize many technological applications, from electronics to biomedicine. …