Nano Archive

The Ambivalence of Promising Technology

Shelley-Egan, Clare (2010) The Ambivalence of Promising Technology. NanoEthics, 4 (2). pp. 183-189.

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Issues of responsibility in the world of nanotechnology are becoming explicit with the emergence of a discourse on ‘responsible development’ of nanoscience and nanotechnologies. Much of this discourse centres on the ambivalences of nanotechnology and of promising technology in general. Actors must find means of dealing with these ambivalences. Actors’ actions and responses to ambivalence are shaped by their position and context, along with strategic games they are involved in, together with other actors. A number of interviews were conducted with industrial actors with the aim of uncovering their ethical stances towards responsible development of nanotechnology. The data shows that standard repertoires of justification of nanotechnological development were used. Thus, the industrial actors fell back on their position and associated responsibilities. Such responses reinforce a division of moral labour in which industrial actors and scientists can focus on the progress of science and technology, while other actors, such as NGOs, are expected to take care of broader considerations, such as ethical and social issues.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ambivalences . Division of moral labour . Position and context . ‘Responsible development’ of nanotechnology. Responsibilities . Strategic games
Subjects:Social and Political Science > Societal and ethical aspects of nanotechnology
ID Code:9594
Deposited By:Lesley Tobin
Deposited On:10 Sep 2010 12:56
Last Modified:10 Sep 2010 12:56

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