5 Responses to A “manifesto” for socially-relevant science and technology

  1. nanotürkiye says:

    Thanks for articles. It will take some time to read them all and post some meaningful comment here!

  2. Ruth Seeley says:

    Glad you got sidetracked, because this is a thoughtful and interesting post, and one that’s most appropriate for both year-end and for the beginning of a new era, which the Obama administration promises to introduce.

    What I struggle with, as a non-scientist but a member of a ‘have’ society, is something implicit in this sort of discussion but still not sufficiently explicit, and that is how we assign priority, particularly to government-funded research. I had several examples but started to get emotional while writing, so will just say that as societies that are part of the ‘developed’ world, we have got to look far more closely – and collectively determine, as individual societies and far more broadly through the organization we have created like the WHO and G20, etc. – what our priorities really are and whether we truly view the benefits of globalization as being responsibility-free. Am I making any sense here, or am I, as usual, being totally obscure while trying to be tactful?

  3. Andrew Maynard says:


    something to look out for in future blogs that begins to get to your concerns – even though it is 50 years old – is C. P. Snow’s “Two Cultures” lecture from 1959, and his follow-on comments published in 1963 (both available in a combined publication from Canto, with an excellent introduction by Stefan Collini). Sheila Jasanoff pointed out to me that 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of this highly talked-about lecture. (I was going to say highly influential, but I remain to be convinced).

  4. Jack Stilgoe says:


    A fascinating post about a fascinating article – one of Sheila’s very best. It will be interesting indeed to see how Obama’s crew take some of these ideas forward. The names in play so far – Holdren, Varmus, Lubckenko etc. – have all at some point resisted lazy assumptions and asked important questions about the place of science within society. From the UK, my view of US science policy is mixed. In the EU, we are good at talking about science and society initiatives and new models of governance, but we are not great at putting them into practice. Nor are we good at arguing about things in the open. The US policy culture, which Sheila has done so much to dissect, is well-placed to develop a new model. We watch with interest…

  5. […] a row of Barbara Harthorn’s that I have NOT written about (the first being the paper she recently co-authored with Nick Pidgeon in Nature Nanotechnology).  Sorry […]

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