See 2019

30 January


Date: 30 January 2019
Time: 12.30 - 14.00 hrs
Venue: Ravelijn, RA 1315
Speakers: Prof. Arie Rip


Macro-anthropology of emerging technologies

The publication, later this year, of a selection of published articles of mine (some co-authored with colleagues) with Routledge, under the title of ‘Nanotechnology and Its Governance’, is an occasion for me to reflect on the life and times of emerging technologies, taking nanotechnology as a case. I argue that we can see “domestication” (Silverstone) happening, but at the macro- and meso-level. We have contributed to nano-domestication by our work on Constructive Technology Assessment, but the collection does not focus on CTA. It takes the reader through the story of its creation, in 2000, as a socio-political entity (with its own origin myth after-the-fact, Feynman 1959), and the societal agenda-building and de-facto governance in the first decades of the 21st century. There’s also my little essay on “folk theories” of nano-technologists. And my article, with Douglas Robinson, on CTA and the methodology of “insertion” (overtones of anthropology again). A final reflection is Panglossian: why worry about newly emerging technologies if they will be domesticated anyway, in this “best of all possible worlds”?

(See for more information the prospectus of the book, [link])