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Modeling Technoscience and Nanotechnology Assessment

Perspectives and Dilemmas


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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Nanotechnology. Assessment and Convergence inside the Technoscience (by Tomasz Stępień)


← 76 | 77 → Tomasz Stępień

The starting point by the analysis and characteristics of nano-domain as science and technology is the process of emerging new techno-sciences such as biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences and the nano-based convergence between them. In order to analyse the present development in the field of converging technologies the question concerns the definition of nano-domain itself. The background of this analysis is the process of transition from ‘normal’ to ‘post-normal’ and from ‘academic’ to ‘post-academic’ conception of science. Moreover, the process of nano-domain constitution, but also the accelerated nanotechnological advance in the last decade, integrates three major and meanwhile established theoretical conceptions and frameworks of the present philosophy of science and technology: the technology assessment (TA), the concept of technoscience and the reciprocal relationships between science, technology and society (STS), and the theoretical framework of converging technologies (CT). In this manner, by answering the question – what nano is – the process of emergence of the techno-sciences in the field of natural and engineering sciences from the one hand, and the established philosophical and societal approaches from the other hand, shall be included. Following to these we have a kind of “huge perplexity” resulting from various interdisciplinary overlapping between the different disciplines and theoretical approaches, which are at the same time characterized by a prospective orientation. The explanation of nano-issues itself appears hereby as crucial for the natural and engineering sciences as well as for the humanities and social sciences, but also for science and...

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