How we talk when we talk about nano: The future in laypeople's talk

Autor(en)
Sarah R. Davies
Abstrakt

Nanotechnology is an example of postnormal technoscience 'in the making': its concrete products and applications are currently only starting to trickle into the marketplace. In this paper I use nanotechnology as a case to examine how uncertain technoscientific futures are represented in lay talk. I engage with this question through a close analysis of focus group discussion around nanotechnology, describing the cultural and linguistic resources that participants draw upon in doing this, including personal experience and expertise, analogies and comparisons, and fiction and popular culture. These are, I suggest, the key discursive tools with which laypeople can weigh up and evaluate emerging technologies. However, I also argue that these are used flexibly to create different kinds of arguments in different conversational contexts, and use the example of nanotechnology as 'the same'/'different' to illustrate this. In concluding I reflect on the implications of these findings for scholars of public opinion and attitude and for those who frame policy on emerging and uncertain science and technology.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Journal
Futures
Band
43
Seiten
317-326
Anzahl der Seiten
10
ISSN
0016-3287
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2010.07.003
Publikationsdatum
2011
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
509017 Wissenschaftsforschung
Schlagwörter
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/how-we-talk-when-we-talk-about-nano-the-future-in-laypeoples-talk(fba45d3c-5fbb-493b-9ed8-f2a91e20da9c).html