KIT-Logo Torben B.Zülsdorf, ChristopherCoenen, Arianna Ferrari, Ulrich Fiedeler, Colin Milburn, Matthias Wienroth (Hrsg.)

Quantum Engagements.
Social reflections of nanoscience and emerging technologies

Heidelberg: AKA GmbH 2011, ISBN 978-3-89838-659-3, 257 S., 60,00 Euro
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As books based on conferences go, first time is a precedent, second time establishes a series. This latest volume in the book series presented by the Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (S.NET) turns out to offer a very interesting dégustation of a successful conference that took place in Darmstadt, September 29th-October 2nd, 2010. It also offers us a view of where studies of nanotechnology and emerging technologies are at, and where nanotechnology itself is at. What has occurred is „de-futurization“, a term the editors use in their introduction: nanotechnology is for real, regulation and public engagement have become ongoing features. And this technoscience „in the real world“ may be setting a precedent for new scientific and technological developments being open to engagement with society „from the very beginning“. Armin Grunwald, in his chapter, raises the question of whether scholarly studies, linked to soft interventions, have made a difference to the being-in-the-world of nanotechnology- This will not be a direct impact, as there are stronger forces at play in these developments. But such studies have improved understanding and created affordances.Nut just for nanotechnology, but also for its status as a precedent. The insight into the dynamics of technosciences and their values will reinforce the acceptance of early engagement, making it a rule for emerging technologies.

The Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies plays a role here in offering a forum and strengthening the scholarly communities. In doing so, it depends very much on the engagement of scholars in the society. Thus, we are particularly grateful to the six editors of this volume for their efforts in selecting, curating, and editing the chapters - and also for achieving all this in time for the volume to ne available at the upcoming, third annual meeting of S.NET in Tempe, Arizona, November 7nd-10th, 2011. The annual meetings will continue; the fourth is planned t be held in Twente. We feel sure that the series of volumes based on these conferences will continue as well. This will testify to the health of the scholarly community, as well as the quality and interest of its products. Moreover, it will testify to the importance of our engagements with nanotechnology and emerging technologies.

Arie Rip
President, S.NET

Alfred Nordmann and Ingrid Ott
Program Committee and Organizers
S.NET Conference 2010, Darmstadt


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