Stephen Hilgartner / Emerging Technoscience and the Social Compact / 11.12.2021

Stephen Hilgartner is a professor in the department of science and technology studies at Cornell University. He¬†studies the social dimensions and politics of contemporary and emerging science and technology, especially in the life sciences. His research focuses on situations in which scientific knowledge is implicated in establishing, contesting, and maintaining social order — a theme he has examined in studies of expertise, property formation, risk disputes, and biotechnology. His most recent book, Reordering Life: Knowledge and Control in the Genomics Revolution (MIT Press, 2017), examines how new knowledge and new regimes of control took shape during the Human Genome Project.

Talk: Emerging Technoscience and the Social Compact

Abstract: This talk explores the role of science in contemporary politics, drawing on research in science and technology studies that uses a constitutional perspective to examine the delegation and contestation of authority. I show how fundamental questions about the nature of appropriate democratic governance are entangled in debates about emerging science and technology. The argument is illustrated with two examples, one in the area of genomics and one about Covid-19

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