We are engaged in the studies of the ethical and societal dimensions of nanotechnology. The institutional background is on the one hand the Institute for Philosophy at Technical University Darmstadt (TUD), and on the other hand the nanoOffice (Office for Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Studies), part of the Center for Interdisciplinary Technology Studies at the TUD. It serves as a platform for interdisciplinary discussions, the development of joint initiatives and the pursuit of various research and outreach projects.
|Technische Universität Darmstadt|
In our projects we bring together the perspectives of history and philosophy of science and technology, of social science and cultural studies. The activities of the nanoOffice therefore revolve around questions like these:
- hat can we know, how well can one understand and control the world at the nanoscale?
- How do theoretical curiosity, a spirit of invention or design, and innovation pressures interact in the research process?
- What are we to believe and what role do metaphors and images, the grand promises and visions of nanotechnology play?
- Can one sensibly discuss nanoscience and nanotechnology at all or should we prefer to speak of nanotechnologies in the plural?
- How open to social shaping is the development of nanotechnologies - also in the context of their convergence with other enabling technologies?
- What worldviews inform nanoscale research, do nanotechnologies pursue an implicit metaphysical program that needs to be made explicit?
- How can science and society enter into a shared learning experience when it comes to dealing with the ambivalences and challenges of nanotechnologies?