Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 2/2018 (English)

Franz Seifert: Nanotechnology. Technology Hype and Democratisation Efforts

In the 2000s, nanotechnology became the subject of state funding programs across the OECD and beyond. In the nanotechnology policy field, two characteristics stand out: on the one hand, the international »hype« about nanotechnology, that is to say its discursive construction, characterized by excessive future promises and expectations that justify massive funding programs and drive financial, scientific and innovative dynamics. Secondly, specific features of the nanotechnology field are the prominence of dialogical practices and ideals of participatory democracy. The literature even talks about a »deliberative« or »participatory turn« in the nanotechnology field. The article critically examines this turn. The following questions are being discussed: First, why do we observe the proliferation of participative-dialogical practices specifically in this field? Second, why does this trend manifest itself in different countries at about the same time?

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