The Social Life of Nanotechnology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Social Life of Nanotechnology

1st Edition

Edited by Barbara Herr Harthorn, John W. Mohr


294 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-06-02
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This book addresses the interconnections and tensions between technological development, the social benefits and risks of new technology, and the changing political economy of a global world system as they apply to the emerging field of nanotechnologies. The basic premise, developed throughout the volume, is that nanotechnologies have an undertheorized and often invisible social life that begins with their constructed origins and propels them around the globe, across multiple localities, institutions and collaborations, through diverse industries, research labs, and government agencies and into the public sphere. The volume situates nano innovation and development as a modernist science and technology project in a tense and unstable relationship with a fractured, postmodern social world. The book is unique in incorporating and integrating studies of innovation systems along with a focus on the risks and consequences of a globally significant set of emerging technologies. It does this by examining the social and political conditions of their creation, production, emergence, and reception.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Seely Brown. Acknowledgments. 1. Introduction: The Social Scientific View Of Nanotechnologies Barbara Herr Harthorn and John W. Mohr Part I: Constructing the Field of Nanotechnology: The Social Origins of Nanotechnology 2. Science That Pays for Itself: Nanotechnology and the Discourse of Science Policy Reform Matthew N. Eisler 3. When Space Travel And Nanotechology Met at the Fountains of Paradise W. Patrick McCray 4. Conferences and the Emergence of Nanoscience Cyrus C. M. Mody Part II: Controlling the Field: The Role of Public Policies, Market Systems, Scientific Labor, and Globalization in Nanotechnology 5. Is Nanoscale Collaboration Meeting Nanotechnology's Social Challenge? A Call for Nano-Normalcy Christopher Newfield 6. Working for Next to Nothing: Labor in the Global Nanoscientific Community Mikael Johansson 7. Nanotechnology as Industrial Policy: China and the United States Richard P. Appelbaum, Cong Cao, Rachel Parker and Yasuyuki Motoyama 8. The Chinese Century? China’s Move Towards Indigenous Innovation: Some Policy Implications Rachel Parker and Richard P. Appelbaum Part III: Contesting the Field: Knowledge, Power, and Reflexivity in the Construction of Nanotechnology 9. Nanotechnologies and Upstream Public Engagement: Dilemmas, Debates, and Prospects? Adam Corner and Nick Pidgeon 10. Different Uses, Different Responses: Exploring Emergent Cultural Values Through Public Deliberation Jennifer Rogers-Brown, Christine Shearer, Barbara Herr Harthorn and Tyronne Martin 11. News Media Frame Novel Technologies in a Familiar Way: Nanotechnology, Applications, and Progress Erica Lively, Meredith Conroy, David A. Weaver, and Bruce Bimber 12. Public Responses to Nanotechnology: Risks to the Social Fabric? William R. Freudenburg and Mary B. Collins

About the Editors

Barbara Harthorn is Associate Professor in the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

John Mohr is Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society

Books in this series consider social science aspects of science studies. Authors discuss how science is socially situated and mediated, how science and technology are shaped by society and society by science and technology. Books will consider the social impact of new technologies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Nanostructures
SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General