Advertisement

NanoEthics

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 99–113 | Cite as

Assembling Upstream Engagement: the Case of the Portuguese Deliberative Forum on Nanotechnologies

  • António Carvalho
  • João Arriscado Nunes
Original Paper

Abstract

This article analyzes a deliberative forum on nanotechnologies, organized in Portugal within the scope of the research project DEEPEN—Deepening Ethical Engagement and Participation in Emerging Nanotechnologies. This event included scientists, science communicators and members of the “lay public”, and resulted in a position document which summarizes collective aspirations and concerns related to nano. Drawing upon our previous experience with focus groups on nanotechnologies—characterized by methodological innovations that aimed at suspending epistemological inequalities between participants—this paper delves into the performativity of the deliberative event, exploring some of the tensions and power/knowledge asymmetries generated by the forum. Recognizing that the design of participatory assemblages matters, we reflect on our role as facilitators and explore the difficulties in organizing exercises of upstream engagement with emerging technologies.

Keywords

Deliberation Upstream engagement with nanotechnologies Responsible research and innovation Performativity 

References

  1. 1.
    Althusser L (2008) On ideology. Verso, London and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arnstein S (1969) A ladder of citizen participation. J Am Inst Plann 35(4):216–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bellamy R, Lezaun J (2015) Crafting a public for geoengineering. Public Underst Sci 26:1–16.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662515600965 Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blok V, Lemmens P (2015) The emerging concept of responsible innovation. Three reasons why it is questionable and calls for a radical transformation of the concept of innovation. In: Van den Hoven J, Koops EJ, Romijn HA, Swierstra TE, Oosterlaken I (eds) Responsible innovation: issues in conceptualization, governance and implementation. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 19–35Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boal A (1979) Theatre of the oppressed. Pluto Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Burri RV (2009) Coping with uncertainty: assessing nanotechnologies in a citizen panel in Switzerland. Public Underst Sci 18(4):498–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Callon M (2007) What does it mean to say that economics is performative? In: MacKenzie D, Muniesa F, Siu L (eds) Do economists make markets? On the performativity of economics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 311–357Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Callon M (2008) Economic markets and the rise of interactive agencements: from prosthetic agencies to habilitated agencies. In: Pinch T, Swedberg R (eds) Living in a material world: economic sociology meets science and technology studies. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp 29–56Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Callon M, Lascoumes P, Barthe Y (2001) Agir dans un monde incertain: essai sur la démocratie technique. Le Seuil, ParisGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Callon M, Muniesa F (2003) Les marchés économiques comme dispositifs collectifs de calcul. Réseaux 21(122):189–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carvalho A, Nunes JA (2013) Technology, methodology and intervention: performing nanoethics in Portugal. NanoEthics 7(2):149–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Davies SR, Kearnes M, Macnaghten P (2010) Nanotechnology and public engagement: a new kind of (social) science? In: Kjolberg KL, Wickson F (eds) Nano meets macro: social perspectives on nanoscale sciences and technologies. Pan Stanford Publishing, Singapore, pp 473–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Davies SR, Macnaghten P (2010) Narratives of mastery and resistance: lay ethics of nanotechnology. NanoEthics 4(2):141–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dewey J. (1991) Logic: the theory of inquiry - the later works, Vol.12. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, ILGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dryzek JS (2000) Deliberative democracy and beyond: liberals, critics, contestations. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fiorino DJ (1990) Citizen participation and environmental risk: a survey of institutional mechanisms. Sci Technol Hum Values 15(2):226–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Flynn R, Bellaby P, Ricci M (2011) The limits of upstream engagement in an emergent technology: lay perceptions of hydrogen energy technologies. In: Devine-Wright P (ed) Renewable energy and the public: from NIMBY to participation. Earthscan, London, pp 245–259Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fonseca PF, Pereira TS (2017) Pesquisa e desenvolvimento responsável? Traduzindo ausências a partir da nanotecnologia em Portugal. Hist Cienc Saude-Manguinhos 24(1):165–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Foucault M (1980) Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings, 1972–1977. Pantheon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Foucault M (1988) Technologies of the self. In: Martin LH, Gutman H, Hutton PH (eds) Technologies of the self, a seminar with Michel Foucault. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, pp 16–49Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Freire P (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Goodin RE (2008) Innovating democracy: democratic theory and practice after the deliberative turn. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Grin J, Grunwald A (2000) Vision assessment: shaping technology in 21st century society. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hamlett P, Cobb M (2006) Potential solutions to public deliberation problems: structured deliberations and polarization cascades. Policy Studies Journal 34(4):629–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jonas H (1984) The imperative of responsibility - in search of an ethics for the technological age. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kearnes M, Wynne B (2007) On nanotechnology and ambivalence: the politics of enthusiasm. NanoEthics 1:131–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kleinman D, Delborne J, Anderson A (2011) Engaging citizens: the high cost of citizen participation in high technology. Public Underst Sci 20(2):221–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kyle R, Dodds S (2009) Avoiding empty rhetoric: engaging publics in debates about nanotechnologies. Sci Eng Ethics 15(1):81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Latour B (2005) Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lucivero F (2015) Ethical assessments of emerging technologies: appraising the moral plausibility of technological visions (Vol. 15). Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Macnaghten P, Davies SR, Kearnes MB (2015) Understanding public responses to emerging technologies: a narrative approach. J Environ Policy Plan:1–19.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2015.1053110
  32. 32.
    Macnaghten P, Guivant J (2011) Converging citizens? Nanotechnology and the political imaginary of public engagement in Brazil and the United Kingdom. Public Underst Sci 20(2):207–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Macnaghten P, Kearnes MB, Wynne B (2005) Nanotechnology, governance, and public deliberation: what role for the social sciences? Sci Commun 27:268–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mejlgaard N (2009) The trajectory of scientific citizenship in Denmark: changing balances between public competence and public participation. Sci Public Policy 36(6):483–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mills CW (1959) The sociological imagination. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rowe G, Frewer J (2000) Public participation methods: a framework for evaluation. Sci Technol Hum Values 30(2):3–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Rowe G, Marsh R, Frewer LJ (2004) Evaluation of a deliberative conference. Sci Technol Hum Values 29(1):89–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rowe G, Marsh R, Frewer LJ (2005) A typology of public engagement mechanisms. Sci Technol Hum Values 30(2):251–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sciencewise (2016) Quality in public dialogue—a framework for assessing the quality of public dialogue. http://www.sciencewise-erc.org.uk/cms/quality-in-public-dialogue-a-framework-for-assessing-the-quality-of-public-dialogue. Accessed 12 Dec 2017
  40. 40.
    Sclove R (1995) Democracy and technology. Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Swierstra T, Rip A (2007) Nano-ethics as NEST-ethics: patterns of moral argumentation about new and emerging science and technology. NanoEthics 1(1):3–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    van der Burg S (2016) A lay ethics quest for technological futures: about tradition, narrative and decision-making. NanoEthics 10(3):233–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Verbeek PP (2011) Moralizing technology: understanding and designing the morality of things. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Viseu A (2015) Caring for nanotechnology? Being an integrated social scientist. Soc Stud Sci 45(5):642–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Wilsdon J, Wynne B, Stilgoe J (2005) The public value of science. Or how to ensure that science really matters. Demos, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineNOVA University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for Social StudiesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations