New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) based innovations, e.g. in the field of Life Sciences or Nanotechnology, frequently raise societal and political concerns. To address these concerns NEST researchers are expected to deploy socially responsible R&D practices. This requires researchers to integrate social and ethical aspects (SEAs) in their daily work. Many methods can facilitate such integration. Still, why and how researchers should and could use SEAs remains largely unclear. In this paper we aim to relate (...) motivations for NEST researchers to include SEAs in their work, and the requirements to establish such integration from their perspectives, to existing approaches that can be used to establish integration of SEAs in the daily work of these NEST researchers. Based on our analyses, we argue that for the successful integration of SEAs in R&D practice, collaborative approaches between researchers and scholars from the social sciences and humanities seem the most successful. The only way to explore whether that is in fact the case, is by embarking on collaborative research endeavours. (shrink)
Introduction and acknowledgments -- What is happening to us? and why? -- So much information is changing how we think -- Communication, entertainment, and over-stimulation -- Work : how it changes and how it changes us -- New behaviors and changes in manners -- Faster and faster time -- Families, women, and sex -- Making sense of contradictory social trends -- Conclusion.
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Acknowledgments -- Chapter 2 Introduction: The Chatter of the Present -- Chapter 3 Definitions of Solitude -- Chapter 4 Distraction: The Flip Side of Engagement -- Chapter 5 Antigone: Literature as "Thinking Apart" -- Chapter 6 The Workshop Model in New York City -- Chapter 7 The Folly of the "Big Idea" -- Chapter 8 The Cult of Success -- Chapter 9 Mass Personalization and the "Underground Man" -- Chapter 10 The Need for Loneliness (...) -- Chapter 11 The Practice of Solitude -- Chapter 12 Discernment and the Public Sphere -- Chapter 13 Conclusion: Setting up Shop -- Chapter 14 Bibliography -- Chapter 15 About the Author -- Chapter 16 Index. (shrink)
Holding the promise of both emancipation and oppression, technology at once terrifies and disturbs the social order. Its dazzles, seduces, yet it also unsettles and raises the specter of the loss of human values and our replacement by machines and silicon. In Living with Technology , Hans Oberdiek and Mary Tiles explore the cultural and philosophical tensions shrouding technology and its place in society. Examing the relationship between instrumental reason and technology, fact and value, efficient and responsibility, Oberdiek and (...) Tiles employ an accessibile and philosophical methodology to assess the embeddness of technology in daily life. Investigating such aspects of technology as its transfer to third world nations and the genetic development of seeds, Oberdiek and Tiles give the strictly practical a compellingly philosophical look--analyzing why, in fact, the West often uses technology to do rather stupid things in rather clever ways. (shrink)
This text provides an overview of debates in the sociology of technology, including definitions of the main terms and concepts and discussion of the dominant positions, especially in recent scholarship. At the same time, it develops a novel perspective on the subject based in critical theory, bridging work in the sociology of science and technology with wider debate in social theory. It integrates empirical and theoretical elements in well-themed chapters and draws on interesting contemporary examples such as mobile phones (...) and computer games to offer a distinctive sociological perspective on an important dimension of social life. (shrink)
What are the final limits of medicine? What should we not try to cure medically, even if we had the necessary financial resources and technology? This book philosophically addresses these questions by examining two mirror-image debates in tandem. Members of certain groups, who are deemed by traditional standards to have a medical condition, such as deafness, obesity, or anorexia, argue that they have created their own cultures and ways of life. Curing their conditions would be a form of genocide. Members (...) of other groups are seeking to provide medical treatment to what would conventionally be deemed 'cultural conditions'. Mild neurotics who take anti-depressants to elevate their mood, runners who use steroids, or men and women seeking cosmetic surgery are asking for medical treatment for problems that might be solved culturally, by changing norms, pressures, or expectations in the broader culture. Each of these two debates endeavors to locate medicine's final frontier and to articulate what it is that we should not treat medically even if we could. This volume analyzes what these two contemporary debates have to say to each other and thus offers a new way of determining medicine's final limits. (shrink)
Including international contributors from a variety of disciplines - History, English, Information Studies and Archivists – this book does not seek either to applaud or condemn digital technologies, but takes a more conceptual view of how ...
Nanotechnology is an important platform technology which will add new features like improved biocompatibility, smaller size, and more sophisticated electronics to neuro-implants improving their therapeutic potential. Especially in view of possible advantages for patients, research and development of nanotechnologically improved neuro implants is a moral obligation. However, the development of brain implants by itself touches many ethical, social and legal issues, which also apply in a specific way to devices enabled or improved by nanotechnology. For researchers developing nanotechnology such (...) issues are rather distant from their daily work in the lab, but as soon as they use their materials or devices in medical applications such as therapy of brain diseases they have to be aware of and deal with them. This paper is intended to raise sensitivity for the ethical, legal and socialaspects (ELSA) involved in applying nanotechnology in brain implants or other devices by highlighting the short term problems of testing and clinical trials within the existing regulatory frameworks (A), the short and medium-term questions of risks in the application of the devices (B) and the long-term perspectives related to problems of enhancement (C). To identify and address such issues properly nanotechnologists should involve ethical, legal and social experts and regulatory bodies in their research as early as possible. This will help to remove pressure from regulatory bodies, to settle public concern and to prevent non-acceptable developments for the benefit of the patients. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the human, social and economic aspects of science and technology. It examines a broad range of issues from a variety of perspectives, using examples and experiences from Australia and around the world. The authors present complex issues in an accessible and engaging form. Topics include the responsibilities of scientists, ethical dilemmas and controversies, the Industrial Revolution, economic issues, public policy, and science and technology in developing countries. The book ends with a (...) thoughtful and provocative look towards the future. It includes extensive guides to further reading, as well as a useful section on information searching skills. This book will provoke, engage, inform and stimulate thoughtful discussion about culture, society and science. Broad and interdisciplinary, it will be of considerable value to students and teachers. (shrink)
This paper discusses a way to create social innovation around 2040. With such innovation, social restrictions that are regarded as being inevitable in the current society can be eliminated. First, it is necessary to determine how to approach the innovation. Symbiotic technology is one of the promising technologies for achieving social innovation. It is the fusion of scientific technology and socio-technology. Its elemental technologies are classified into two categories: technologies for converging the real and cyber worlds and (...) those for integrating hetero-systems. This paper describes examples of those technical categories and introduces the challenges of the first step toward social innovation. (shrink)
In the perception of technology innovation two world views compete for domination: technological and social determinism. Technological determinism holds that societal change is caused by technological developments, social determinism holds the opposite. Although both were quite central to discussion in the philosophy, history and sociology of technology in the 1970s and 1980s, neither is seen as mainstream now. They do still play an important role as background philosophies in societal debates and offer two very different (...) perspectives on where the responsibilities for an ethically sound development of novel technologies lie. In this paper we will elaborate on these to two opposing views on technology development taking the recent debate on the implementation of biofuels as a case example. (shrink)
Policy makers call upon researchers from the natural and social sciences to collaborate for the responsible development and deployment of innovations. Collaborations are projected to enhance both the technical quality of innovations, and the extent to which relevant social and ethical considerations are integrated into their development. This could make these innovations more socially robust and responsible, particularly in new and emerging scientific and technological fields, such as synthetic biology and nanotechnology. Some researchers from (...) both fields have embarked on collaborative research activities, using various Technology Assessment approaches and Socio-Technical Integration Research activities such as Midstream Modulation. Still, practical experience of collaborations in industry is limited, while much may be expected from industry in terms of socially responsible innovation development. Experience in and guidelines on how to set up and manage such collaborations are not easily available. Having carried out various collaborative research activities in industry ourselves, we aim to share in this paper our experiences in setting up and working in such collaborations. We highlight the possibilities and boundaries in setting up and managing collaborations, and discuss how we have experienced the emergence of ‘collaborative spaces.’ Hopefully our findings can facilitate and encourage others to set up collaborative research endeavours. (shrink)
To design effective and socially sensitive systems, engineers must be able to integrate a technology-based approach to engineering problems with concerns for social impact and the context of use. The conventional approach to engineering education is largely technology-based, and even when additional courses with a social orientation are added, engineering graduates are often not well prepared to design user- and context-sensitive systems. Using data from interviews with three engineering students who had significant exposure to a socially-oriented perspective on (...) production systems design, this paper argues that engineering students may have difficulty integrating in their own practice the technology-based and the socially-oriented perspectives on production. To enhance engineering students' ability to create systems that integrate both perspectives, and to relieve the intense cognitive and emotional pain that can be experienced by students exposed to both perspectives but unable to reconcile them, this paper reinforces the importance of teaching students the meta skill, design. A design perspective can help students integrate varied, sometimes conflicting, perspectives, and reach beyond customer-defined constraints to consider workplace and social impact. (shrink)
Thoroughly revised, this new edition of Critical Theory of Technology rethinks the relationships between technology, rationality, and democracy, arguing that the degradation of labor--as well as of many environmental, educational, and political systems--is rooted in the social values that preside over technological development. It contains materials on political theory, but the emphasis has shifted to reflect a growing interest in the fields of technology and cultural studies.
Technology, in its current usage, can most simply be understood to have three components: artifacts, practices, and knowledge. Artifacts are the material objects that exist in the world. Practices are the methods and techniques used to interact with artifacts and knowledge represents the underlying theoretical and conceptual paradigms that influence technology in different cultural contexts. Using these components as the framework, this four volume major work traces the intellectual, scholarly, and public evolution of technology studies and ultimately questions whether technologies (...) are truly autonomous within the societies they inhabit and whether or not technological changes drive social changes. Rayvon David Fouché presents the evolving conceptualizations of technology to understand the ways in which technology has shaped global society. Technology Studies is part of the ‘Key Issues for the 21st Century’ series published by SAGE which brings together collections on those critical issues that will shape our future. This four-volume set covers: Volume 1: Conceptualizing Technology Volume 2: Theorizing Technological Change Volume 3: Politics of Technology Volume 4: Technology and Culture. (shrink)
The paper reconstructs the read thread that links the information revolution, the information concept and information ethics in Floridi’s philosophy of information. In doing so, it acknowledges the grand attempt but doubts whether this attempt is up to the state of affairs concerning the actual point human history has reached. It contends that the information age is rather conceivable as a critical stage in which human evolution as a whole is at stake. The mastering of this crisis depends on an (...) appropriate shaping of Information and Communication Technologies which requires ethical considerations. In this respect, Floridi’s notion of the fourth revolution, his assumption of the management of the life cycle of information, and his ontocentric macroethics will be discussed in the light of the term “scientific-technological revolution”, the idea of a noogenesis, a new way of thinking and new weltanschauung, the concept of friction in social and physical aspects, the concept of collective intelligence and its application to the Internet and last, but not least, the vision of a Global Sustainable Information Society. (shrink)
With increasing flexibility of technology and a shift towards competence being the core of competitive edge in worklife, the need for new organizational concepts or models which givejoint optimization across human and technological dimensions has been acknowledged in leading, innovative enterprises. National crossdisciplinary research based productivity programmes are appearing in several countries. Due to internationalization and the general shortcomings of bureaucratic organizational forms, regional networks of enterprises in cooperation with public R&D institutions seem to provide answers to needs of (...) regions to remain competitive. The paper discusses the possible role of social science in a multilevel, participative strategy for developing new, democratic and productive organizational forms in worklife. Aspects of national productivity programmes in Scandinavia, Germany and Australia are discussed in connection with the situation in Italy as analyzed through some recent research projects. (shrink)
This essay presents a theory of the role of technology in the distribution and exercise of social power. The paper studies how technical artefacts and systems are used to construct, maintain or strengthen power relations between agents, whether individuals or groups, and how their introduction and use in society differentially empowers and disempowers agents. The theory is developed in three steps. First, a definition of power is proposed, based on a careful discussion of opposing definitions of power, and it (...) is argued that a theory of power should have two components: a theory of power relations and a theory of empowerment. Second, an analysis of power relations is presented, in which five basic types of power relations between agents are distinguished, and this analysis is applied to technology, resulting in an account of the possible roles of technical artefacts in power relations. Third, I analyse how technology can lead to or contribute to empowerment and disempowerment, and what resistance strategies are possible against disempowerment through technological means. The theory of technology and power presented in this paper is claimed to be an essential ingredient of a critical theory of technology, which is a theory that analyses and critiques the role of technology in the distribution and exercise of power in society. In the final section of this paper, it is argued that the theoretical analysis of power and technology presented in this paper provides an adequate basis for the further development of such a critical theory of technology. I study how it may, specifically, be used to develop strategies for the democratization of technology. (shrink)
Technologies are being developed for significantly altering the traits of existing persons (or fetuses or embryos) and of future persons via germ line modification. The availability of such technologies may affect our philosophical, legal, and everyday understandings of several important concepts, including that of personal identity. I consider whether the idea of personal identity requires reconstruction, revision or abandonment in the face of such possibilities of technological intervention into the nature and form of an individual's attributes. This requires an (...) account of the work done by the concept of personal identity, and an explanation of what “conceptual impacts of technology” and “conceptual reconstruction” might mean. Our existing notions of personal identity and related ideas such as personhood and autonomy may seem unable to comfortably accommodate the possibilities of technologically directed trait formation and development. This is a matter of moral and legal importance because the idea of personal identity embeds major values and reflects value-laden beliefs and attitudes. The assumed endurance of identity underlies interpersonal relationships, the assignment of rewards and punishments, and the very idea of what constitutes an autonomous person. Perhaps radical restructuring or even abandonment of concepts are sometimes called for when the world changes drastically, but I suggest that conceptual modification is not “compelled” for personal identity except under extreme circumstances—the remote possibility of rapid human “shape shifting” where physical and mentational attributes can be transformed quickly and continuously. Efforts to enhance human traits, including merit attributes and other resource-attractive characteristics (e.g., intellectual and athletic aptitudes, physical size and appearance), may generate legal problems wherever the persistence of identity is presupposed. Some advance speculation is thus warranted on how trait change generally will be managed within our legal and socioeconomic systems, and more particularly on rights of access to trait-altering technologies. I mention the possible distributive effects of enhancing highly-resource attractive traits, including the strengthening individual powers to acquire still more increments in such traits in a self-reinforcing cycle. A brief review of some constitutional issues bearing on trait change completes the discussion. I conclude that existing and projected technologies do not impel the abandonment or remodeling of the idea of personal identity. We may, however, have to reconsider some uses of this concept in different settings, to rethink our understandings of ideas of merit and desert, and to deal with the distribution of resources that may enlarge and entrench the “distances” between social and economic groups. (shrink)
Technologicalinnovations and social developments have led to dramatic changes in the practice of medicine and in the way that scientists conduct medical research. Change has brought beneficial consequences, yet these gains have come at a cost, for many modern medical practices raise troubling ethical questions: Should life be sustained mechanically when the brain's functions have ceased? Should potential parents be permitted to manipulate the genetic characteristics of their embryos? Should society ration medical care to control costs? (...) Should fetal stem cells be experimented upon in an effort to eventually palliate or cure debilitating diseases? Bioethicists analyze and assess moral dilemmas raised by medical research and innovative treatments; they also counsel healthcare practitioners, patients, and their families. In this anthology, fifteen philosophers, social scientists, and academic lawyers assess various aspects of this field. (shrink)
As we approach the end of the twentieth century, the ways in which knowledge--scientific, social, and cultural--is produced are undergoing fundamental changes. In The New Production of Knowledge, a distinguished group of authors analyze these changes as marking the transition from established institutions, disciplines, practices, and policies to a new mode of knowledge production. Identifying such elements as reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, and heterogeneity within this new mode, the authors consider their impact and interplay with the role of knowledge in (...) class='Hi'>social relations. While the knowledge produced by research and development in science and technology is accorded central focus, the authors also outline the changing dimensions of social scientific and humanities knowledge and the relations between the production of knowledge and its dissemination through education. Placing science policy and scientific knowledge within the broader context of contemporary society, this book will be essential reading for all those concerned with the changing nature of knowledge, with the social study of science, with educational systems, and with the correlation between research and development and social, economic, and technological development. "Thought-provoking in its identification of issues that are global in scope; for policy makers in higher education, government, or the commercial sector." --Choice "By their insightful identification of the recent social transformation of knowledge production, the authors have been able to assert new imperatives for policy institutions. The lessons of the book are deep." --Alexis Jacquemin, Universite Catholique de Louvain and Advisor, Foreign Studies Unit, European Commission "Should we celebrate the emergence of a 'post-academic' mode of postmodern knowledge production of the post-industrial society of the 21st Century? Or should we turn away from it with increasing fear and loathing as we also uncover its contradictions. A generation of enthusiasts and/or critics will be indebted to the team of authors for exposing so forcefully the intimate connections between all the cognitive, educational, organizational, and commercial changes that are together revolutionizing the sciences, the technologies, and the humanities. This book will surely spark off a vigorous and fruitful debate about the meaning and purpose of knowledge in our culture." --Professor John Ziman, (Wendy, Janey at Ltd. is going to provide affiliation. Contact if you don't hear from her.) "Jointly authored by a team of distinguished scholars spanning a number of disciplines, The New Production of Knowledge maps the changes in the mode of knowledge production and the global impact of such transformations. . . . The authors succeed . . . at sketching out, in very large strokes, the emerging trends in knowledge production and their implications for future society. The macro focus of the book is a welcome change from the micro obsession of most sociologists of science, who have pretty much deconstructed institutions and even scientific knowledge out of existence." --Contemporary Sociology "This book is a timely contribution to current discussion on the breakdown of and need to renegotiate the social contract between science and society that Vannevar Bush and likeminded architects of science policy constructed immediately after World War II. It goes far beyond the usual scattering of fragmentary insights into changing institutional landscapes, cognitive structures, or quality control mechanisms of present day science, and their linkages with society at large. Tapping a wide variety of sources, the authors provide a coherent picture of important new characteristics that, taken altogether, fundamentally challenge our traditional notions of what academic research is all about. This well-founded analysis of the social redistribution of knowledge and its associated power patterns helps articulate what otherwise tends to remain an--albeit widespread--intuition. Unless they adapt to the new situation, universities in the future will find the centers of gravity of knowledge production moving even further beyond their ken. Knowledge of the social and cognitive dynamics of science in research is much needed as a basis of science and technology policymaking. The New Production of Knowledge does a lot to fill this gap. Another unique feature is its discussion of the humanities, which are usually left out in works coming out of the social studies of science." --Aant Elzinga, University od Goteborg. (shrink)