Do we need a specific kind of technoscience assessment? Taking the convergence of science and technology seriously

Poiesis and Praxis 7 (1-2):37-54 (2010)
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Abstract

The presented paper addresses the concept of technoscience and its possible implications for technology assessment. Drawing on the discourse about converging technologies, it formulates the assumption that a general shift within science from epistemic cultures to techno-epistemic cultures lies at the heart of the propagated convergence between nano-, bio-, info- and cogno-sciences and technologies. This shift is adequately captured—so the main thesis—by the technoscience label. The paper elaborates on the shared characteristics of the new technosciences, especially their hybrid character and their non-linear integration of basic research, object construction and technological innovation. Recent calls for new modes of technology governance (e.g. for upstream technology assessment and public participation) are discussed against the background of these technoscience characteristics. It is concluded that an adequate model of emerging technosciences and a detailed understanding of their characteristics is of paramount importance for current practices of technology assessment.

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Karen Kastenhofer
University of Vienna

References found in this work

Epistemic cultures: how the sciences make knowledge.Karin Knorr-Cetina - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1983 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):381-390.

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