From Nano-Convergence to NBIC-Convergence: “The best way to predict the future is to create it”

This chapter combines rhetorical with conceptual analysis to argue that the concept of convergence of technologies is a teleological concept that does not describe or predict any recent past, present, or future development. Instead it always expresses or attributes political goals of how future technology should be developed. The concept was already fully developed as a flexible rhetorical tool by US science administrators to create nanotechnology (as nano-convergence), before it was broadened to invent the convergence of nano-, bio-, info-, and cogno-research (NBIC-convergence). Analyzing the use of “convergence” in various US reports, such as in convergence did, does, can, will likely, will necessarily, should, and ought to happen, sheds new light on how science policy avoids public debates about goals and values in deliberating the future, which poses new challenges to STS.
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