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"Technoscience" in information society: methodological problems of the development of theoretical research in engineering sciences

"Technoscience" in information society: methodological problems of the development of theoretical research in engineering sciences
Project team:

Gorokhov, Vitaly (Project leader); Gotthard Bechmann

Start date:

2010

End date:

2013

Research group:

Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

During the second part of the 20th century, many new scientific disciplines came into being that did not fit into the traditional frame of theoretical knowledge (system engineering, technical cybernetics, engineering economy, engineering psychology, petrophysics, etc.). Many of these sciences have just consolidated as standalone research areas. For this reason, it becomes increasingly important to reconstruct the architectural "pattern" (or "patterns") of modern scientific theories, especially of the ones concerning technical sciences, by using methodological ways and means. The elaboration of such a "pattern" must be based on a methodological analysis of development mechanisms coming from the already existing technical theories so that it does not degenerate into random constructing. Such an analysis is the core of this project.

In the last few centuries, a lot has changed in the field of technical sciences. These changes bear witness to a qualitatively new “non-classical” stage in their development. This kind of research and its share among all scientific research is increasing enormously right now. Second, new forms of organization aiming at a higher efficiency of scientific work are just evolving, whereas experts of the different science fields are being integrated in this research. This serves to a stronger orientation of modern science towards finding solutions to the different practical problems existing, especially to problems regarding engineering technology. At the same time, methods coming from engineering technology and projecting sink more and more into the area of "pure" science and, thereby, fundamentally change the traditional standards and value orientations of scientific research. An entire block of new technical science has evolved that uses systems theoretical ideas, methods, and concepts (cybernetics, systems engineering, systems analysis, etc.). In this project, radar systems engineering was selected as an important object of methodological analysis. Another example is nanotechnology in which case scientific research is strongly connected to engineering activities and even to nanofabrication.

Final report

At present, a shift of social priorities in science and technology can be observed. Therefore, it is important that general statements on science, technology, and society will be developed by experts. But these general statements will be too abstract without understanding the real history of science. The particular history of the different specific science branches can be represented in case studies as different general models of historical development of science and technology.

The subject of the social and methodological analysis in this project was the emerging and the development of the theory of mechanisms as a classical scientific and engineering discipline, on the one hand. On the other hand, the emerging and the development of radar science and technology as a special discipline of scientific engineering (as distinct from the engineering industry) was the subject of social and methodological analysis. Radar theory is discussed not as much as a specific engineering science but as a model of development of an engineering discipline. On the one hand, it is an object of systems study; on the other hand, it has given an impetus in modern science and engineering to the development of methodological principles for the systems approach. This is not only about adding new details to the stories of this particular sphere of science and technology but rather about using this example as a case study to uncover the social and methodological structures connected to the origination of new sciences and technologies. This approach was propagated by the philosophers of science in the middle of the 20th century. For this reason, it was possible to apply in this project the results of the social and methodological analysis done by scientific engineering disciplines, results which were elaborated for the investigation of radar science and technology, and for the philosophical analysis of another modern science, namely of nanotechnology.

The scientific technological disciplines already have founded or are founding at present disciplinary organizations and, meanwhile, they have a stable position in science. In addition, as shown in the project, by the second half of the 20th century, a majority of the scientific technological disciplines had begun their own theoretical studies that have received the status of a technical theory, by now. Today, there is more interconnectedness between science and technology (also in the basic research spheres) within the scientific community. We already say "technoscience". In the modern scientific landscape, we can find increasingly a special type of scientific discipline – the scientific technological discipline. These new scientific technological disciplines are unique in that they emerge at the interface between scientific and engineering activities, and are supposed to ensure the effective interaction of both of these fields. We already speak of "technoscience". Three main levels of the theoretical (ontological) schema within a nanoscientific theory can be discerned: namely, mathematically-oriented functional schemes, "flow" schemes reflecting natural processes occurring in the system investigated or constructed, and structural schemes representing its structural parameters and engineering analysis, i.e., the system’s structure. In nanotechnoscience different models (equivalent circuits with standard electronic components) of electric circuit theory are used for the analysis and synthesis of nanocircuits, and a special nanocircuit theory is elaborated. The implementation of technological theory is carried out by using the iteration method. First, a special engineering problem is formulated. Then it is represented as a structural diagram of the technical system. To calculate and to model this process mathematically, a functional diagram is drawn up. Consequently, the engineering problem is reformulated into a scientific one, and then into a mathematical problem that is solved by the deductive method. This path from the bottom to the top represents the analysis of models. The opposite direction – the synthesis of models – makes it possible to synthesize the ideal model of a new technical system from idealized structural elements according to the appropriate rules of deductive transformation, to calculate basic parameters of the technical system, and to simulate its function.

In nanocircuit structures, we find traditional electronic components at different levels realized on the basis of nanotechnology. In nanotechnoscience, the explanation and prognostication of the course of natural processes (as in natural sciences) is just as important as the multiplication of structural nanosystem models (as in engineering sciences). Electron beam lithography is, at the same time, an experimental system of investigation and is used in nanofabrication. So nanotechnology is simultaneously a field of scientific knowledge and a sphere of engineering activity – in other words, NanoTechnoScience includes, similar to Systems Engineering, the analysis and the design of complex micro- and nanosystems. In nanotechnoscience, constructs from various scientific theories – classical and quantum physics, classical and quantum chemistry, structural biology, etc. – are used, whereas, in nanosystems, different physical, chemical, and biological processes take place.

Today, it is impossible to separate knowledge production not only from knowledge application but also from ethical reflection. That is why in this project problems related to technological catastrophes are analyzed: Hereinafter, an example for nuclear reactor accidents follows. After the Chernobyl catastrophe the scientific worldview has changed. The related problems are the problems of the whole world community. This incident has changed significantly the way how the safety of nuclear power engineering and the responsibility for that safety borne by scientists, engineers, and politicians, are discussed. No reference to the public, economic, or technological expedience or to higher scientific interests can justify the moral and material damage that can be done to human beings and to the environment. The immensely intensified potential impacts of technology will require an entirely new ethical orientation not only regarding behavior rules but also with regard to responsibility and provision as well as to providence and caring for the future. This would require new norms, in part, changed values and frames of reference. The ruling elite in the USSR and in the USA had limited the information access for general public and for the free press regarding the technological risks of large-scale technological installations in military-industrial complexes. The disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power station is a most illustrative example. That is to say, the technological risk is not only a technical one but it also bears a social problem which is also a moral problem. General remarks are not made about the objective character of social investigation, but about the investigation of the concrete exemplary of a historical individual and particular phenomenon which must always correlate with the value ideas (Max Weber). The nuclear accidents of Chernobyl and Fucusima have demonstrated the necessity to reflect on the social problems of modern technoscience from an ethical point of view by employing post-non-classical scientific rationality.

Publications


2015
Book Chapters
Gorokhov, V. G.
Science, technology, and ethics: Russian perspectives.
2015. Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource. Ed.: J. Britt Holbrook, Carl Mitcham, 34–39, Gale, Cengage Learning/Macmillan Reference USA, Farmington Hills, Mich 
2014
Book Chapters
Bechmann, G.
Technology and ethics: risk ethic in the globalization process.
2014. Scientific and technological development and applied ethics. Hrsg.: V. Gorokhov, 272–276, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moskau, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
Technological risks as social problem.
2014. Scientific and technological development and applied ethics. Hrsg.: V. Gorokhov, 11–22, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Methodological analysis of the history of the engineering sciences - the role of the engineering theory.
2014. Interrelationship of the basic research and technology as an object of the philosophical research: Hrsg.: E. Mamchur, 70–88, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy, Moskau, Russland 
Books
Journal Articles
Gorokhov, V.
Basic and applied research, but not basic and applied sciences.
2014. Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, 35 (2), 19–28 
Gorokhov, V. G.
Engineering sciences: History and theory.
2014. Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 84, 441–448 
Presentations
Gorokhov, V.
Galileo: The origins of the scientific-technological knowledge.
2014. 6th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS), Lisboa, P, September 4-6, 2014 
Gorokhov, V.
TA als eine problemorientierte Disziplin.
2014. 6. Konferenz des Netzwerks Technikfolgenabschätzung (NTA) und 14. Technikfolgenabschätzung (TA) Jahreskonferenz des Instituts für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung, Wien, A, 2.-4. Juni 2014 
Gorokhov, V.
Military technologies and scientific development from Galileo until nanotechnoscience.
2014. 9th Symnposium on Social History of Military Technology, Brasov, R, July 29 - August 2, 2014 
Gorokhov, V.
Technology assessment as an important part of the scientific education of engineers.
2014. 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED 2014), Valencia, E, March 10-12, 2014 
2013
Book Chapters
Bechmann, G.; Gorokhov, V.
Philosophy of technology as a theory of technology assessment.
2013. Technology in the modern scientific discourse: Proceedings of the 38th all-Russian scientific conference for students and young scientists, 16.-17.05.2013. Hrsg.: Volga State University of Technology, 4–17, Yoshkar-Ola, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
Tradition and innovation: Russian and German experience in the development of innovative systems.
2013. Third Moscow International Conference of Comparative Philosophy on “Philosophy and Science in the Cultures of East and West, Moskau, 21. - 26.05.2012, 100–109, Nauka, Moskau, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
Galileo Galilei as philosopher of technology and technology assessment expert.
2013. Philosophy: Theory and Practice. Hrsg.: V. Sharova, A. Trufanova, A. Yakovleva, 102–109, Institute of Phylosophy RAS, Moscow 
Gorokhov, V.
Engineering Sciences: History and Theory. The History of Science from the Philosophical Point of View.
2013. Proceedings of the International Scientific School ’Engineering Education for New Industrialization’. Hrsg.: School, International Scientific, 100–111, KNITU, Kazan, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
Bildungsreformen in Russland: Traditionen und Innovationen.
2013. Bewusstsein, Praxis und Realität. Hrsg.: I. D. Dshokhadse, 197–225, Kanon, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
About the emerging of the scientific engineering education in Russia and in Europe.
2013. Image of science in the cross-cultural perspective. Proceedings of the International Conference in Dubna, 19.04.2013. Hrsg.: University of Nature, Society; Men, 19–28, Dubna, Russland 
Journal Articles
Gorokhov, V.
Section of the philosophy of technology.
2013. Herald of the Russian Philosophical Society, 67 (3), 46–47 
Gorokhov, V.
Philosophy of technology and engineering ethics.
2013. Applied ethics, 42 (3), 41–61 
Gorokhov, V.
For sick children of any ranks.
2013. The Medical reporter, 644 (31), 23–24 
Gorokhov, V.
Überlegungen über die Konzeption der post-nichtklassischen Wissenschaft.
2013. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 36 (2), 71–77 
Gorokhov, V.
Traditions of charity in Russia.
2013. Tschelovek (Human Being), 2, 151–161 
Gorokhov, V.; Pakulyak, S. Z.
The history of science from the philosophical point of view.
2013. Vysshee obrasovanie v Rossii, (5), 154–156 
Conference Papers
Gorokhov, V.
Scientific education of engineers.
2013. International Scientific School ’Enginnering Education for New Industrialization’, Kazan, Russia, September 23-28, 2013 Proceedings Kazan : KNITU, 2013, 100–111 
Presentations
Gorokhov, V.
Galileo Galilei as philosopher of technology and technology assessment expert.
2013. 23rd World Congress of Philosophy (WCP 2013), Athens, Greece, August 4–10, 2013 
Gorokhov, V.
Engineering sciences: History and theory.
2013. International Scientific School ’Enginnering Education for New Industrialization’, Kazan, Russia, September 23-28, 2013 
Gorokhov, V.
From the natural-technological theory in nanotechnoscience to the systems design in nano systems engineering.
2013. Technology in the Age of Information : 18th Biennial International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT 2013), Lisboa, P, July 4-6, 2013 
Gorokhov, V.
18 Jahre Deutsch-Russisches Kolleg Karlsruhe (DRKK) und 14 Jahre internationale Akademie für nachhaltige Entwicklungen und Technologien an der Universität Karlsruhe (IANET): Aufgaben, Ziele und Perspektiven.
2013. Jubiläumskonferenz ’20 Jahre Russisch-Deutsches Institut für Kultur und Wissenschaft der Moskauer Staatlichen Lomonossow-Universität’, Moskva, Russia, 18.-19. April 2013 
2012
Book Chapters
Gorokhov, V.
Tekhnonauka i perspektivy razvitija globalynoj civilizacii. Technoscience and perspectives of the development of the global civilization.
2012. Chelovek i Ego Budushee : Novye Tekhnologii i Vozmozhnosti Cheloveka. Men and his future : new technologies and possibilities of men. Ed.: G. L. Belkina, 296–307, LENAND, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Technology assessment as social technology.
2012. Society - Technology -Science : Upon the path on the theory of social technologies. Ed.: I. T. Kasavin, 336–366, Alfa-M, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Technological risks as social and ethical problem.
2012. Economical and Legal Problems of the Innovation Development in the Nuclear Field. Ed.: National Research Nuclear University (NIJU) und Moscow Engineering-Physical Institute (MIFI), 113, NRNU, Moskau, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
Social technologies for decisions making in the situation of the technological risks.
2012. Society - Technology -Science : Upon the path on the theory of social technologies. Ed.: I. T. Kasavin, 367–383, Alfa-M, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Large-scale systems as the subject of the investigation in the macro and nano systems.
2012. Synergetic paradig : Synergetics of innovation complexity Ed.: V. I. Arshinov, 210–236, Progress-Tradition, Moskau 
Books
Journal Articles
Gorokhov, V.
Living under conditions of technological risks. Zhizny v uslovijakh tekhnologicheskikh riskov.
2012. Filosofskije Nauki (Philosophical Sciences), 2012 (2), 82–86 
Gorokhov, V.
Technology and Science.
2012. Epistemologija & Filosofija Nauki, 31 (4), 5–17 
Presentations
Gorokhov, V.
Politikstrategie Geheimhaltung: Von Technikversagen zu Naturdesaster und soziale Katastrophe - Majak.
2012. Verflechtungen : Naturkatastrophen und Technikversagen in modernen Gesellschaften ; Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Technikgeschichte (GTG) in Kooperation mit dem Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC 2012), Munich, Germany, May 18–19, 2012 
Gorokhov, V.
Nanotekhnologiceskaja revoljucija: mif ili realynosty? Nanotechnological revolution: Mythos or reality?.
2012. 6th Russian Philosophical Congress “Philosophy in the modern world: Dialog of world outlooks” (2012), Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, June 27–30, 2012 
Gorokhov, V.
Traditions and innovations: Russian and German experience of the development of the innovative system.
2012. Philosophy and Science in the Cultures of East and West : 3rd Moscow Internat.Conf.on Comparative Philosophy, Moskva, Russia, May 21-26, 2012, 3rd International Conference on Comparative Philosophy “Philosophyscience in the cultures of EastWest” (2012), Moscow, Russia, May 21–26, 2012 
Gorokhov, V. G.
Tekhnologiceskie riski kak socialynaja i eticeskaja problema. Technological risks as social and ethical problem.
2012. Scientific Conference of the National Research Nuclear University (MIFI) “Economicallegal Problems of the Innovation Development in the Nuclear Field” (2012), Moscow, Russia, February 4, 2012 
Gorokhov, V. G.
From theory to design in the technoscience: some remarks on the history of engineering.
2012. 9th European Social Science History Conf., Glasgow, GB, April 11-14, 2012 
Gorokhov, V.; Gorokhova, G.
From Chernobyl to Fucusima: technological risks as ethical and social problems.
2012. International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) 39th Symp., Barcelona, E, July 10-14, 2012 
Gorokhov, V.; Scherz, C.
Social and ecological consequences of the technology (comparative analysis of the social and cultural features of the development of the nuclear technology in Russia and in Germany).
2012. 39th Sympsoium of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC 2012), Barcelona, Spain, July 10–14, 2012 
2011
Book Chapters
Gorokhov, V.
Nanotechnological risks and their possible social consequences (Innovations and risks - dilemma of the modern nanotechnologies).
2011. Men in the word of nanotechnologies: attempt of the analysis from humanities Hrsg.: Humanities, Moscow University for, 25–49, University for Humanities, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Influence on country’s image the forms of the organization of science and education.
2011. Image of Russia in the cross-cultural perspective Hrsg.: University of Men, Society; Nature, 55–57, Dubna, Russland 
Gorokhov, V.
From the engineering task to the scientific problem and then to the development of new technologies on the nanolevel.
2011. The future of the basic research: conceptual, philosophical and social problems Hrsg.: A.A. Krushanov, 85–98, Krasand, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Novaja zhizny ’isskusstveniogo intellekta’ v probleme tekhnicheskogo usovershensvovanija cheloveka [New life of the "artificial intelligence" in the problem of the technological human enhancement].
2011. Natural and artificial intelligence: Methodological and social problems. Ed.: D. I. Dubrovski, Estestvennyj i Iskusstvennyj Intellekt : Metodologicheskie i Socialynye Problemy Moskva : Kanon, 2011, 17–47, Canon + Rooi “Rehabilitation”, Moskau 
Gorokhov, V.
Mesto i roly filosofii tekhniki v sovremennoj filosofii iee organicheskaja svjazy s filosofiej nauki [Platz und die Rolle der Technikphilosophie in der modernen Philosophie und ihre Beziehung zur Wissenschaftsphilosophie].
2011. Philosophie der Wissenschaft. Ed.: V. I. Arshinov, Arshinov, V.I. [Hrsg.] Filosofija Nauki Vypusk 16: Filosofia Nauki i Tekhniki Moskva : Rossijskaja Akademija Nauk, Institut Filosofii, 2011 (in russ.Sprache), 181–199 
Gorokhov, V.; Scherz, C.
Der (Nicht-)Umgang mit Technikfolgen in Russland.
2011. Maring, M. [Hrsg.] Fallstudien zur Ethik in Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft, Technik und Gesellschaft Karlsruhe : KIT Scientific Publ., 2011 (Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Technik- und Wirtschaftsethik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie ; 4), 167–175 
Books
Arshinov, V. I.; Gorokhov, V.
Philosophie der Wissenschaft.
2011. Institut für Philosophie der Russischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Moskau 
Journal Articles
Gorokhov, V.
From Chernobyl to Fukushima: Technological risks as ethical and social problem.
2011. Filozofia Nauki (Philosophical Sciences), (7), 16–27 
Gorokhov, V.; Grunwald, A.
Each innovation has social dimension. Technology assessment as an applied philosophy of technology.
2011. Vysshee Obrazovanije V Rossii, 2011 (5), 135–145 
Gorokhov, V.; Scherz, C.
Der (Nicht-)Umgang mit Technikfolgen in Russland.
2011. Filosofskie Nauki, 2011 (6), 49–62 
Conference Papers
Gorokhov, V.
The old ethical problems in the new information society in Russia.
2011. 4th Internat.Conf.on Information Law and Ethics, Thessaloniki, GR, May 20-21, 2011 Papers publ.online 
Gorokhov, V. G.
Nanotechnoscience : Interrelation of the basic theories, computer experiment and novel technologies (the problem of computer visualization in the nanotechnology).
2011. Internat.Theoretical and Practical Seminars Materials within the Framework of Joint US-RU Project ’New Educational Programs and Technologies’ Including Distance Learning, and New Principles of Educational Process Management in Engineering within the Framework of Educational Collaboration between Russian and US Partners Universities. CD-ROM Moskva, July 2011 
Presentations
Gorokhov, V.
Nanotechnoscience: interrelation of the basic theories, computer experiment and novel technologies. (The problem of computer visualization in the nanotechnology.).
2011. Internat.Seminar ’Modernization of Educational Process in the Area of Engineering Using Innovative Methods and Technologies’, Moskva, Russia, June 1, 2011, Internationales Seminar “Modernization of educational process in the area of engineering using innovative methodstechnologies”, Bauman Moscow State Technical University (2011), Moscow, Russia, June 1, 2011 
Gorokhov, V.
Logic and technology: relay and switching circuit to nano systems engineering.
2011. Wissenschaftliches Seminar des Beirats für Künstliche Intelligenz Forschung, Moskva, Russia, 3.Oktober 2011, Wissenschaftliches Seminar des Beirats für Künstliche Intelligenzforschung, Moskau (2011), Moscow, Russia, October 3, 2011 
Gorokhov, V.
Nanotechnological risks and their possible social consequences.
2011. Internat.Scientific Conf.’New Technologies and Human Development’, Moskva, Russia, November 22, 2011 
Gorokhov, V.
Ehvoljucija inzheneriyk praktik. Celi sobremennoj inzhenernoj bejatelynosti i ee posledstbija [The evolution of the engineering praxis. Goals of the modern engineering and their consequences].
2011. Large-Scale Technological Systems : the Development of the Engineering, Moskva, Russia, April 27, 2011 (in russ.Sprache), Conference “Large-scale technological systems: the development of the engineering”, Moskau (2011), Moscow, Russia, April 27, 2011 
Gorokhov, V.
The genesis of the Engineering Sciences from the Natural Sciences.
2011. Consumer Choice and Technology : 38th Symp.of the Internat.Committee for the History of Technology, Glasgow, GB, August 2-7, 2011 
Gorokhov, V.
The old ethical problems in the new information society in Russia.
2011. 4th Internat.Conf.on Information Law and Ethics, Thessaloniki, GR, May 20-21, 2011 
Journal Article Reviews
2010
Book Chapters
Gorokhov, V.
Begründer der Kinderchirurgie in Russland - D.E. Gorokhov.
2010. Sobor. Almanach der Religionswissenschaft. Orthodoxe Zivilisation und Russlands Zukunft. Bd. 8. Hrsg.: Universität Jelez, 294–314, Jelez, Moskau 
Presentations
Gorokhov, V.
The structure of the natural-technological theory in the NanoTechnoScience.
2010. Philosophy of Science : Humboldt Kolleg, Odessa, UA, September 8-11, 2010 
Gorokhov, V.
The natural and the artificial in science and technology.
2010. Systems and Models : Limits of Interpretation ; Russian Scientific Conf., Tomsk, Russia, February 14-16, 2010 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Vitaly Gorokhov
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany