Midstream Modulation of Technology: Governance From Within

Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 26 (6):485-496 (2006)
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Abstract

Public “upstream engagement” and other approaches to the social control of technology are currently receiving international attention in policy discourses around emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. To the extent that such approaches hold implications for research and development (R&D) activities, the distinct participation of scientists and engineers is required. The capacity of technoscientists to broaden the influences on R&D activities, however, implies that they conduct R&D differently. This article discusses the possibility for more reflexive participation by scientists and engineers in the internal governance of technology development. It reviews various historical attempts to govern technoscience and introduces the concept of midstream modulation, through which scientists and engineers, ideally in concert with others, bring societal considerations to bear on their work.

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