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Debasmita Patra

Assistant Research Professor

Assistant Research Professor

Environmental Science & Technology 0512B An. Sci./Ag. Eng. Department of Environmental Science & Technology College Park, MD 20742

Current Research: 

Dr. Patra’s research looks at the interface of science, technology, and society. She is well equipped to take any science and technology and see the impact of that particular technology on society and vice versa. She has the expertise and ability to explore the broader issues associated with technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, food technology, environmental technology, emerging technologies, and its impact on society. She has worked on several social issues such as policy, risk perception and communication, ethics, health, in the context of nanotechnology in the developing countries. Currently her research is focused on social issues associated with stormwater management across urban ecosystems.

Education

  • Postdoctoral Training, Cornell Nanoscale Facility, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2008-11)

  • Ph.D. in Sociology (Science and Technology Studies), University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India (2008)

  • Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) in Sociology (Science and Technology Studies), University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India (2004)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India (2003)

  • Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) in Sociology, Ravenshaw Autonomous College, Cuttack, India (2000)

Professional Work

Professional Positions: 

  • 2019- Present: Assistant Research Professor, Dept. Environmental Science and Technology (ENST), University of Maryland, College Park

  • Fall, 2017: Professional Track Faculty, Dept. Communication, University of Maryland, College Park

  • 2017- Present: Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland University College, Maryland, USA

  • 2013-2017: Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Maryland University College, Maryland, USA

  • 2012-2013: Affiliate, Georgetown University, USA

  • 2008-2011: Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

  • Fall 2006: Research Associate, University Grants Commission (UGC)-Academic Staff College, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

  • Fall 2004: Research Assistant, Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Professional Service: 

  • Served on the Review Panel on Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (EESE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), USA; 2011-2012

  • Co-organized a workshop on “Implementation and Impact of the Societal and Ethical Issues (SEI) Training at NNIN Laboratories”, at Knight Conference Center, Washington University-St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, October 15, 2010.

  • Organized a training workshop on “Introducing Social and Ethical Issues (SEI) Orientation to NNIN Site Coordinators” at Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; January 22, 2010.

  • Organized (with Prof. E. Haribabu and others) international symposium on “Culture of Innovation in Indian Science and Technology: Opportunities Seized and Opportunities Lost”, jointly organized by the University of Hyderabad and University of Iowa, at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India; January 19-21, 2006.

  • Co-organized (with Academic Staff College) a seminar titled “Right to Information” conducted by the Academic Staff College, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India; July 24, 2006.

Invited Reviewer for Journal Articles:

  • Journal of Research Practice

  • Nanoethics

  • Public Understanding of Science

  • Risk Analysis

  • Science Communication

Professional Membership:

  • Indian Sociological Society (ISS-life member)

  • Society for Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (S-NET)

  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

  • Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)

  • Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S)

  • Foresight Foundation and H-SCI-MED-TECH

Teaching

  • Social Networking (COMM398X), Dept. of Communication, University of Maryland, College Park (Fall 2017)                

  • Technology in Contemporary Society (BEHS103), Diversity Awareness (BEHS220), Introduction to Sociology (SOCY100), Sociology of Family (SOCY443), University of Maryland University College (2013-     )

  • Biomedical Research Ethics (CLRT500-Co-taught), Georgetown University (2012-2013)

  • Social and Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology (Short course), Cornell Nanoscale Facility (2008-2011)

Publications

Selected Publications: 

  • Patra, D., P.T. Leisnham, C.K. Tanui, A.K. Pradhan. 2020. Evaluation of Global Research Trends in the Area of Food Waste Due to Date Labeling Using a Scientometrics Approach. Food Control, 115:107307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107307

  • Patra, D. 2013. “Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, or Nanotechnoscience?”, Public Understanding of Science, 22 (5): 590-605.

  • Patra, D. 2011. “Responsible Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Contextualizing Socio-technical Integration into the Nanofabrication Laboratories in the USA”, Nano Ethics, 5:143-157.

  • Patra, D., E. Haribabu, and K. A. McComas. 2010. “Perceptions of Nano Ethics among Practitioners in a Developing Country: A Case of India”, NanoEthics, 4:67–75.

  • Patra, D. 2010. “Journal of Nanoparticle Research”, in David Guston (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, p. 379-380.

  • Patra, D. 2010. “Small Times”, in David Guston (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, p. 720-721.

  • Patra, D. 2010. “Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)”, in David Guston (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp-759-760.

  • Patra, D. 2009. “Book Review: Social Theories of Risk and Uncertainty: An Introduction”, Risk Analysis, 29(6):930-931.

  • Patra, D., E. Haribabu, and P. K. Basu. 2009. “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Ethical, Legal, Social and Environmental Issues”, Current Science, 96(5):651-657.

Other Scholarly Publications:

  • Patra, D. 2010. NNIN (National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network) SEI Orientation User Manual 1.1, CNF, Ithaca, NY (printed version).

  • Patra, D. 2010. NNIN SEI Orientation User Manual 1.2, CNF, Ithaca, NY (CD version).