Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Horizons of Care: from Future Imaginaries to Responsible Innovation

Horizons of Care: from Future Imaginaries to Responsible Innovation

Ratings: (0)|Views: 245|Likes:
Published by Chris Groves
Science and Technology Studies and, in particular, the sociology of expectations has shown in detail how the evolution of emerging technologies is shaped by promises, and the future imaginaries that underlie them. But beyond the specific content of the projected future, there is the act of projecting itself, what we might call our relationship to the future horizon. As Niklas Luhmann notes, “[…] the essential characteristic of a horizon is that we can never touch it, never get at it, never surpass it, but that in spite of that, it contributes to the definition of the situation”. Aside from investigations of particular expectations or imagined futures, we may find that what renders consistent a wide range of imagined futures, technological and otherwise, is how they perform and relate to the future as the horizon of the present – how they, for example, empty and commodify it, open it up or close it off, or render it tangible in the present as a latent stake in the hazards of action. Attention to the quality of future-orientation is therefore important because this quality defines how we shall live with uncertainty, whether we amplify or reduce it, and how we inscribe our relationships with future inhabitants of the planet (human and non-human) into our present. Drawing on examples of the future horizons of nanotechnologies, I suggest that sensitization to the implicit future horizons of technological imaginaries can point up central ethical and political contradictions within them, and sketch how a future horizon informed by care ethics can help us think productively about the meaning of responsible innovation, both in nanotechnology and more widely.
Science and Technology Studies and, in particular, the sociology of expectations has shown in detail how the evolution of emerging technologies is shaped by promises, and the future imaginaries that underlie them. But beyond the specific content of the projected future, there is the act of projecting itself, what we might call our relationship to the future horizon. As Niklas Luhmann notes, “[…] the essential characteristic of a horizon is that we can never touch it, never get at it, never surpass it, but that in spite of that, it contributes to the definition of the situation”. Aside from investigations of particular expectations or imagined futures, we may find that what renders consistent a wide range of imagined futures, technological and otherwise, is how they perform and relate to the future as the horizon of the present – how they, for example, empty and commodify it, open it up or close it off, or render it tangible in the present as a latent stake in the hazards of action. Attention to the quality of future-orientation is therefore important because this quality defines how we shall live with uncertainty, whether we amplify or reduce it, and how we inscribe our relationships with future inhabitants of the planet (human and non-human) into our present. Drawing on examples of the future horizons of nanotechnologies, I suggest that sensitization to the implicit future horizons of technological imaginaries can point up central ethical and political contradictions within them, and sketch how a future horizon informed by care ethics can help us think productively about the meaning of responsible innovation, both in nanotechnology and more widely.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Chris Groves on Oct 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/25/2012

pdf

text

original

 
Horizons of care: from future imaginaries toresponsible innovation
Christopher GrovesESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics(CESAGEN),Cardiff University, UK 
 Abstract 
Science and Technology Studies and, in particular, the sociology of expectations hasshown in detail how the evolution of emerging technologies is shaped by promises,and the future imaginaries that underlie them. But beyond the specific content of theprojected future, there is the act of projecting itself, what we might call ourrelationship to the future horizon. As Niklas Luhmann notes, “[…] the essentialcharacteristic of a horizon is that we can never touch it, never get at it, never surpassit, but that in spite of that, it contributes to the definition of the situation”. Aside frominvestigations of particular expectations or imagined futures, we may find that whatrenders consistent a wide range of imagined futures, technological and otherwise, ishow they perform and relate to the future as the horizon of the present – how they,for example, empty and commodify it, open it up or close it off, or render it tangible inthe present as a latent stake in the hazards of action. Attention to the
quality 
of future-orientation is therefore important because this quality defines how we shall livewith uncertainty, whether we amplify or reduce it, and how we inscribe ourrelationships with future inhabitants of the planet (human and non-human) into ourpresent. Drawing on examples of the future horizons of nanotechnologies, I suggestthat sensitization to the implicit future horizons of technological imaginaries can pointup central ethical and political contradictions within them, and sketch how a futurehorizon informed by care ethics can help us think productively about the meaning of responsible innovation, both in nanotechnology and more widely.
Biography 
 
DRAFT VERSION – DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHORIAL PERMISSION
2
Chris Groves' work focuses on how people and institutions negotiate and deal with anintrinsically uncertain future – one increasingly imagined against the backdrop of global environmental change and accelerating technological innovation. Along withthe ethical and political implications of a range of future-oriented discourses andpractices (e.g. risk management, precautionary regulation, building resilience), heexamines how our ideas about what it means for individuals and whole societies totake responsibility for their futures are being changed by emerging technologies(such as the convergence between bio- and nanotechnology and personalised genetictesting). The monograph Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics (Brill, 2007), co-authored with Professor Barbara Adam (Social Science, Cardiff University), examinesthese themes in depth.
1.Introduction
Speaking about responsible innovation today, I want to talk about the essential tensionwithin that concept, an at first sight perhaps uncomfortable conjunction of two words. Socially, weare excellent at innovation, but much poorer at understanding and practicing what it might mean toinnovate responsibly. Or: making futures is easy, yet doing so responsibly is not. Following someintroductory remarks on imaginaries, I want to do three things: (1) examine the sense in which this problem becomes manifest in modernity as an ethical problem of responsibility. (2) sketch adiagnosis of the socio-cultural roots of this problem, which draws on my previous work onnanotechnology and my collaborations with the time theorist, Barbara Adam; and (3) sketch afuture direction in which I think our thinking about responsible innovation needs to move.These three steps will contextualise our use of technology as part of a wider socio-culturalconcern - making sense of and giving shape to an uncertain future. Forms of knowledge andregimes of truth, social practices as goal driven activities, ethical frameworks and desire,considered as a socially-organised force, are all equally implicit within this concern. Although the
 
DRAFT VERSION – DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHORIAL PERMISSION
3examination of imaginaries of the future, defined by Joan Fujimura (2003) as 'visions of future possibilities around which scientific practices and communities are organized' is a contributionunderstanding how we make sense of an uncertain future, an additional perspective is also needed.Going beyond what I will suggest are problematic metaphors of vision, we need to be able to speak of how societies
live
the future within the present, of the different styles in which they do this. Iwant to talk about the concept of a 'future horizon' as a contribution to this project. This is intended both as a response to Fujimura's call for a 'sociology of the future' to study the social determinantsof future imaginaries, but also as an attempt to establish a link between STS, on the one hand, andmoral and political philosophy on the other. From a sociological analysis of how the uncertainfuture is domesticated, with the aid of technology and otherwise, we can open up a new ground for ethical and political thought - a critical theory of uncertainty. In this respect, the project I outlinehere has much in common, methodologically speaking and otherwise, with the approach taken byPeter Paul Verbeek here at Twente on the ethics of technological mediation - a body of work towhich I will return in the final section of my talk.
2. Consequentialism and the temptations of foresight
We begin with an analysis of the ethical tension within the idea of responsible innovation.Innovation is inherently a future-creating activity: by bringing something new into the world, it canchange the world itself. If we are to explain what responsible innovation is to mean, then we must be able to explain what it means to take responsibility before the event,
ex ante
, for the future thatthe activity of innovation helps to create.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->