Nanotechnologies for Tomorrow s Society

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Overview. Introduction: NT's main challengesFlemish Innovation PolicyNanoSoc as an experiment in dealing with uncertaintiesCase FocusChoice for Reflective ActionConclusion. I. INTRODUCTION Three challenges for NT promotors. Goal searching character of nanoscience and engineering (strategic unc

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1. Nanotechnologies for Tomorrow’s Society A Case for Reflective Action Research in Flanders, Belgium ASU, October 27, 2006 Prof. Dr. Lieve Goorden (UAntwerpen) Michiel van Oudheusden (UAntwerpen) Johan Evers (KULeuven)

2. Overview Introduction: NT’s main challenges Flemish Innovation Policy NanoSoc as an experiment in dealing with uncertainties Case Focus Choice for Reflective Action Conclusion

3. I. INTRODUCTION Three challenges for NT promotors Goal searching character of nanoscience and engineering (strategic uncertainty) difficult to steer top down huge amount of new combinations guided by a vague claim Difficulties to reach sound knowledge (complexity) about complex systems common RA not applicable Uncertainty about future attitudes (ambivalence) difficult to predict discuss vulnerability of assumptions

4. To what extent do you approve of its use? (EU 25) Eurobarometer 225 EC (2005)

5. Dilemma’s in dealing with challenges Strategic uncertainty Explore and occupy the future; Learn to cope with with unexpected turns; (f.e. GMO-policy in Belgium) Complexity Be fast and leave competitors behind; Be reflexive and precautious; (f.e. 21st Century Nanotechnology R&D Act 2003) Ambivalence Provoke with daring images of the future; Strive for consensus and define identities; (f.e. ‘CT’s for Improving Human performance’ versus ‘CT’s for European knowledge societies’);

6. US and European report on Convergent Technologies

7. Flemish project: ‘Nanotechnologies for tomorrow’s society’ An experiment in dealing with challenges Transfer of experiences; The process is as important as the outcomes; the quality of the process the impact of the process We conceive (understand) the nanosoc project as an experiment or pilot project in dealing with the mentioned uncertainties. Therefore, by the end of the project, it will be important to hand on/pass on our experiences to private and public agencies responsible for R&D management. This means that the process in itself is considered as important as the outcomes it generates. In that perspective we will give attention to the quality of the process and the impact of the process on existing research cultures and practices. We conceive (understand) the nanosoc project as an experiment or pilot project in dealing with the mentioned uncertainties. Therefore, by the end of the project, it will be important to hand on/pass on our experiences to private and public agencies responsible for R&D management. This means that the process in itself is considered as important as the outcomes it generates. In that perspective we will give attention to the quality of the process and the impact of the process on existing research cultures and practices.

8. II. INNOVATION POLICY IN FLANDERS

9. EUROPE

10. Flanders, Belgium

11. Flemish Innovation Policy: contradictory strategies 80s : top down, picking winners Innovation driven by strategic steering; science push; TA: helping hand in picking winners, expert approach (social scientists), incoporated in universities, secluded from society; 90s: bottom up, ad hoc policy Innovation driven by market demand; technology diffusion; TA: not slow down innovation, expert approach (scientists/technologists), incorporated in technological institutes, secluded from society;

12. 2 recent surveys in Flanders (by Flemish Parliamentary TA Institute) Expectations of promotors towards public governance of new technologies; Degree of awareness of members of the Flemish Parliament of nanotechnology

13. Promotors of new technologies Policy goal of spending 3% of BRP on R&D by 2010, should be translated in a collective vision; Public governance should play the role of mentor in a social learning approach; S&T should have a more prominent place on public-political agenda;

14. Awareness of new technologies by members of the Flemish parliament

15. Communication of the European Commission: “Towards a European Strategy for Nanotechnology” (2004) “An effective two-way dialogue is indispensable, whereby the general publics’ views are taken into account and may be seen to influence decisions concerning R&D policy” mandate

16. 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (US) “Ensure that ethical, legal, environmental and other appropriate societal concerns … are considered during the development of nanotechnology.” (US Congress, 2003) mandate

17. Flemish Innovation Policy today: “backing winners” technological innovation as a comprehensive process innovation on the agenda of other policy domains; objectives of innovation go beyond the economic sphere (sustainable development); a social learning process Flemish Parliamentary TA Institute (viWTA): focus on upstream public engagement; Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT): focus on promoting reflexivity in the lab (NanoSoc);

18. III. NANOSOC AS AN EXPERIMENT IN DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTIES Strategic uncertainty Ambivalence Complexity

19. Strategic uncertainty a dialogue about ‘now’ and ‘later’ Experiences of ordinary people with new technologies will make images of the future more robust; Explications of tacit future images by scientists will allow civil society to compare alternatives; process approach: complementary use of TA and TF

20. Ambivalence a dialogue about likeliness and desirableness Stimulate provocative images of the future to incite people to examine their identities; Reflection about essential values will inspire scientists to look for new technological paths; process quality criteria: perplexity, inclusion, ranking of values, closure

21. Complexity a dialogue among a wide variety of actors Co-responsibility of promotors and users; Focus on reflexivity of nano-researchers; Process design: nano-experts push the debate (first stage) input civil society (middle stages) nano-experts respond to the debate (last stage)

22. IV. CASE STUDIES

23. Case Studies IMEC - smart environment - bio-on-chip EMAT - meso porous materials

24. IMEC 1984 - 2006

25. Smart Environment Relation between service and place and relation between service and device disappear Anyplace anywhere and anytime No link between service and location No link between service and terminal No link between service and location No link between service and terminal

26. Smart Environment New services determine the roadmaps Typical examples: imaging, games, entertainment, health, sports and business

27. Bio-on-chip 1993: start of IMEC’s biosensor research based on the coupling/interactions between biological molecules “soft”) and microelectronic components (“hard”)

28. Intensive interaction/cooporation between (bio)medical sciences and engineering Bringing together various materials with different dimensions Focus in IMEC (MCP and Neuroelectronics): -human health (Focus in IMEC (MCP and Neuroelectronics): -human health (

29. Electron Microscopy for Materials Science Department of Physics, UA, since 1965 Study of (inorganic) materials by different electron microscopy techniques Fundamental solid state physics, materials science, solid state chemistry and materials characterisation

30. 0D structures – Meso-porous Materials Possible Applications: removal of pollutants from air or fluids filter in the food industry concentration of natural product for performing tests (e.g. kits for medical diagnosis) stimulating tissue or bone regeneration - … Possible Applications: removal of pollutants from air or fluids filter in the food industry concentration of natural product for performing tests (e.g. kits for medical diagnosis) stimulating tissue or bone regeneration - …

31. Why these three cases? Different time scale: Short term: smart environment Mid-term: bio-on-chip Long term: new nanomaterials Different societal challenges: Smart environment: privacy & control Bio-on-chip: autonomy and human-machine interface New nano-materials: toxicity Time scale stays arbitraryTime scale stays arbitrary

32. V. THE CHOICE FOR REFLECTIVE ACTION 3 TA Frameworks 3 Key Components 2 Central Questions 4 Stage Process

33. How to support scientists in finding promising research agendas? Agenda setting should be subject of deliberation with concerned groups; Design innovation processes as ‘learning processes’: a ‘collective’ learning process: an interactive process with promoters and users; an ‘open ended’ learning process: gradually the desired characteristics of all parties will become clear.

34. Linking up TA Frameworks Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA) Real Time Technology Assessment (RTTA) Public Engagement Applicable to Flanders and NT: 1. Mapping innovation dynamics 2. Reflective action with stakeholders (upstream)

35. Three components (1) ACTION is complemented with (2) PROCESS and (3) IMPACT analysis Process assessment aims to evaluate the interactions and argumentations of the participants Impact assessment to measure the effects of the social learning process on existent research practices

36. The Choice for Reflective Action Actors: ‘Promotors’ and ‘Demanders’ = bring together a wide variety of relevant actors Two central questions: Which NT developments are likely? Which ones are desirable for future society? 4-stage process: A. Exploration B. Visioning C. Normative D. Designing

37. Four qualitative research methods Three-round Delphi study ? A. EXPLORATION Scenario Workshop ? B. VISIONING Value Tree Analysis ? C. NORMATIVE Vision Assessment ? D. DESIGNING

38. (a) Delphi questionnaire Natural and social scientists, journalists, artists, politicians + first citizens panel (no professionals) Find out: What future developments to be expected? Alternatives? 2 anonymous rounds over the internet, 3d round interactive session Example story telling

39. Delphi story example Wireless Monitoring of Diabetics via Body Area Network (BAN) Patient wears a BAN which passively monitors his health situation (blood pressure, glucose level, heart rate…) Wireless technology transmits health data to hospital, where it is assessed Patient not only receives advice on diet and exercise at regular intervals via internet or cell phone, but – as an elderly patient with diabetes risk – is informed when to administer glucose Social / political context: Bill in Parliament to make Distance Wireless Monitoring (DWM) mandatory starting from 50 years onwards, following trend in other technologically advanced countries; if not, termination of social security benefits for individual Protest from civil rights groups: violation of civil rights law (discrimination), end of patient’s privacy …

40. (b) Scenario Workshop Outcomes of Delphi presented to second citizens panel (selection criterion: sociological diversity) Reconstruct representations of the future from ‘gut feel’; make images more socially robust Criticism, vision, realization

41. (c) Value Tree Analysis Stakeholders Identifty and question norms and values Arrange concerns along branches tree structure

42. (d) Vision Assessment Back to nano-experts How are project outcomes to be realized?

43. VI. CONCLUSION Stimulate reflexivity among NT scientists, researchers, innovation actors by raising awareness and sensitivity to societal impacts of NT through processes of systematic and ongoing reflection with civil society ? Help to transform research practices, cultures? Impact on larger context? 2. Experimental method useful for dealing with other uncertainties caused by technology innovation? Transfer to other institutional settings?

44. Nanotechnologies for Tomorrow’s Society www.nanosoc.be

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