Wednesday, March 15, 2023
11:30 am – 1 pm
Sage Lab 5711
Matthew Sample - Professor of Responsible Research and Innovation at Leibniz Universität Hannover
Technoscientific Dreams, Policy Somnambulism
As STS literatures have repeatedly demonstrated, the pursuit of science and engineering is also an exercise in social imagination, situating the self in society or dreaming of alternative futures. But even as this feature of technoscience has come to be widely celebrated and reviled, many foundational social imaginaries remain unexamined in science and technology policy. Researchers, governments, and publics alike often rely on outdated ideals of science, the state, and expertise, uncritically inheriting harmful ideologies of the past. What would it take, then, to awaken from this policy somnambulism, or to move beyond the shallow fantastic? To characterize this challenge, I will present case studies on the “global” governance of human gene editing and on the professional ethics of emerging technologies. At stake, I argue, is our ability to meaningfully address historical injustice and formulate technical practices that respond to the present.