Thumbnail Image

Umbrella terms as mediators in the governance of emerging science and technology

Rip, Arie; Voß, Jan-Peter

Umbrella terms like ‘nanotechnology’ and ‘sustainability research’ have emerged as part of the new regime of Strategic Science. As mediators between science and society they have a dual role. Their overall promise allows resources to be mobilised for new fields which can then be productive in their own right. At the same time, however, they also put pressure on these fields to take relevance considerations into account. The process of emergence and stabilisation of umbrella terms is outlined and traced in detail in the cases of nanotechnology and sustainability research. What we see is interesting de facto governance of science, as well as new forms of involvement of STS scholars.
Published in: Science, technology & innovation studies : STI studies, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Institut für Soziologie