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Modeling Technoscience and Nanotechnology Assessment

Perspectives and Dilemmas

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Ewa Binczyk and Tomasz Stepien

This book is presented by two authors who worked in close cooperation. The first part is written by Ewa Bińczyk and discusses various postulates that have been formulated in response to the problem of the unwanted side-effects of the practical success of technoscience which derive from two theoretical perspectives: the study of risk and science and technology studies (STS), inspired by actor-network theory (ANT). In the second part of the book Tomasz Stępień analyses and characterizes the nano-domain as an example of the development of techno-sciences. Generally, in the case of nanotechnology this book calibrates reciprocally to each other the indeed familiar but also slightly different theoretical approaches established in the philosophy of science and technology.
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Caring about the future of the collective. Monitoring technoscience in the sociology of risk and science and technology studies (by Ewa Bińczyk)

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← x | 1 → Ewa Bińczyk

We must most of all lower our arrogance decibels.Immanuel Wallerstein, The End of the World As We Know It

When identifying the major political challenges facing the risk society, Ulrich Beck invokes the metaphor of a plane journey – he claims that we are asked to embark upon a journey whose destination remains uncertain and unknown. He writes: “the actors who are supposed to be the guarantors of security and rationality – the state, science and industry – are engaged in a highly ambivalent game. They are also no longer trustees but suspects, no longer managers of risks but also sources of risks. For they are urging the population to climb into an aircraft for which a landing strip has not yet been built” (Beck 2008: 12). Among these “suspect” agencies, the German sociologist lists the state, science and industry. These are not trustworthy as areas that can guarantee the stability of the course.

Various postulates of a theoretical, social and political nature have been formulated in response to the problem of the unintended consequences of the practical success of science and technology. Our goal will be to present and critically discuss proposals of this type, which derive in large measure from the study of risk and science and technology studies (STS). We shall seek to define the space for normative and institutional reactions to the problem of risk. We shall analyse political and philosophical reflections, chosen conceptual redefinitions, ethical postulates, as...

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