An introduction to social convergences

Matthias Wienroth, Eugénia Rodrigues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The notion of Converging Technologies has been part of national science policy discourses across the globe since the late 1990s. The unifying idea of these has been that the coming together of different compatible technologies will produce wide-ranging and beneficial social and economic changes. In order to foster technological convergences, and generate societal benefits upon application, proponents of the Converging Technologies (CT) discourse have called for considerable public funding to be made available to research, particularly in the fields of nano-, bio-, and information and communication technologies as well as cognitive science (this is the ‘NBIC’ dimension of the CT discourse; further discussion of this theme is available especially in Chapters 2 and 6 of this volume). In the last decade, the CT discourse has somewhat lost its drive due to a lack of significant and apparent impact from technological convergences, and the issue of still outstanding all-encompassing and game-changing societal benefits. This applies as much to the NBIC discourse as it does to genomic aspirations that were developed in the emergence and functioning of the Human Genome Project. While funding policy and research practice have aimed to associate research into social and ethical aspects of technoscience with publicly funded CT research projects, the focus on technological convergence within the CT discourse has neglected other kinds of convergence that occur in and around technoscience. This volume proposes a novel approach to thinking and analysing the very promissory concept of Converging Technologies: to focus on social aspects of technology discourses and practices, and to develop an understanding of social aspects as not only accompanying but, moreover, significantly contributing to technological convergences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowing New Biotechnologies - Social Aspects of Technological Convergence
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781315776781
ISBN (Print)9781317691501
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameGenetics and Society


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