Models of governance for converging technologies

Kamilla Kjølberg (a); Gian Carlo Delgado-Ramos (b); Fern Wickson (a); Roger Strand(a)
a The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway.
b The Centre of Interdisciplinary Research on Sciences and Humanities, National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Volume 20, Issue 1 January 2008: 83 - 97.
Download Paper


The development of converging technologies (CTs) closely interacting with the human body might become one of the great challenges for science and technology governance in the years to come. This paper compares the visions and recommendations on CT policies by Roco and Bainbridge with those of the high-level expert group in the EU (authored by Nordmann), and documents differences in their respective conceptualizations of uncertainty, complexity and the future. While Roco and Bainbridge argue for the urgency of technological development, Nordmann recommends a thorough social process of upstream public participation in the framing of the technological goals to be achieved. However, a tension is seen in the Nordmann report regarding the role of public resistance in the development of technology.
Keywords: converging technologies; complexity; governance; nanotechnology; policy; public participation; risk; uncertainty.

Download Paper