This chapter introduces the way in which emergent fields of innovation capture the imagination of scientists, policy-makers and publics. It focuses in particular on the rise of proliferation and militarisation concerns about emergent fields of technological innovation. Such concerns are not new; however, today’s anxieties reflect contemporary relationships between science, the state and the global order. A central argument of this chapter is that there is a need for new approaches to thinking about the scope, practices and broader politics of governance directed at contemporary techno-scientific fields. To this end, the book argues that we need to understand that policy-making in this area grapples with a number of distinct but interrelated types of problem related to defining the ethical responsibilities of innovators, predicting and managing the societal effects of emergent areas of innovation and managing competitive drives at the international level.