06 Feb

PhD Defence Daniela Fuchs

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Harro van Lente

Co-supervisor: Dr. Joeri Bruyninckx

Keywords: Participation, neuroenhancement, synthetic biology, nanotechnology

"Unlocking Participation: The dynamics of opening up and closing down in emerging technologies"

How to govern science, technology, and innovation (STI) has been a central question for policy, especially regarding new and emerging technologies. Who is to have a say in technology development is one of the core questions for governance as it affects how we think about and act in innovation, and society altogether. Accordingly, integrating society’s perspectives has become crucial for shaping innovation through practices of participation and societal engagement.

In a nutshell, this thesis explores what it means to open up STI governance, in particular regarding participation and societal engagement in emerging technologies. It compares three technologies – nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and neuroenhancement -, all of which were expected to generate a need for new and adapted ways of governance. Deconstructing current practices of participation and societal engagement, this thesis looks at how they open up or close down emerging technologies and it explores the dynamic relationship between opening up and closing down themselves.

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