Editorial Policy Content"Science, Technology & Innovation Studies" is a reviewed bi-annual online journal that publishes analytical, theoretical and methodological studies
- on the creation and use of scientific knowledge and its relation to society,
- on the development of technology and its social impact and control,
- on innovation in industry and in the public sector.
The articles are published in English. Anonymous double blind peer review is to assure high quality of all articles in this online journal. Submissions are reviewed by two external peers.
Each issue of the journal contains three to four articles of no more than 20 pages, which can be downloaded free of charge as PDF files.
Special IssuesAdditionally to the two regular numbers of the journal, "Science, Technology & Innovation Studies" plans to publish one special issue per year with a specific thematic focus. This special issue will be published under the responsibility of a guest editor, who is also responsible for the organisation of the peer review process. Proposals are welcome.
For about 20 years, a rather wide range of conceptual approaches to the social study of science and technology have emerged which have occasionally been labelled "postconstructivist". Although these conceptions differ in various respects, they have in common a twofold opposition: against traditional representationalist realism as well as "classical" social constructivism established by the "sociology of scientific knowledge" (SSK). In order to escape the pitfalls of both these views (and to o...
This text discusses controversies surrounding theoretical, practical, and political implications of "actor-network theory" ("ANT"). Since its inception around 1980, "ANT" has been applied in an immense number of empirical studies, both within and outside the field of science and technology studies. But it was also rejected as radical chic without substance and/or as theoretically and politically unacceptable in perhaps as many instances as it was accepted. Implicit in both the application and...
The paper proposes to expand the constructivist view from empirical analysis to pragmatic advice. Its main thesis is: The fact that methods and concepts in the production of knowledge and standards for justifying truth claims are culturally bound does not preclude these bonds from being observed and also controlled and adjusted. Knowledge work imports scientific methods and concepts into virtually all segments of society. Whether knowledge is well manufactured and trustworthy is no longer the...
Within science and technology studies, constructivism has never existed as a single variant but under alternative interpretations. In this article it is argued that the different variants have maintained their topicality in unequal measure. It focuses on two variants of constructivism: The first emphasizes the isomorphism of scientific and other practices and insists that there are no epistemic particularities in scientific knowledge production ('analogy approach'); the second accounts for th...
Interpretative flexibility is a central concept of social constructivism in science and technology studies. We think this concept, as it exists, can and should be elaborated. In this paper, we argue that interpretative flexibility can be traced back to three different forms of infinite regress: the regress of truth, the regress of usefulness, and the regress of relevance. Resulting from this analysis, we observe three different forms of interpretative flexibility. We will show that in controv...
Constructivism has become the overarching scientific paradigm in the social study of science and technology (STS). The notion that scientific facts and technological artefacts result from processes of social construction is the major scientific innovation of the preceding decades in the sociology of science and technology. With constructivism being the established paradigm in this field of research: what comes next? What comes after constructivism in science and technology studies? The contr...
The paper deals with hybrid systems, where human actors and non-human agents meet and interact. Different from most of the literature on autonomous technology, which mainly deals with the question of agency of non-humans, the paper puts forward the assumption that the release of smart technology may lead to a deconstruction of order or even a regime change, thus raising the question of how order emerges in hybrid systems. Discussing different sociological concepts, the paper identifies two mo...
Communications about the future potentials of current innovation processes of nanotechnology are often accompanied by visionary scenarios anticipating future applications of nanotechnological products. The analysis and evaluation of the mediality of such scenarios has for some time been an important research topic of both sociological expectation- and Leitbild-research as well as, more recently, the vision assessment of German technology assessment. However, problems arise in these research t...
The U.S. Army is currently working on the development of a new hybrid type of infantryman. Land Warrior is the name for the project which aims at equipping the dismounted soldiers with wearable computers, head-up display, permanent online connection and other technical components. The idea is to link up the dismounted soldier to an information and communications network spanning the whole field of operation. This project sets the stage for the introduction of a completely new type of soldier....
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a rapidly evolving technology. While industrialists hope that the use of RFID will bring about great benefits, civil rights activists warn against the dangers. Since RFID pervades everyday life more and more, this paper deals with its potential impact on individuals. Currently private persons are least included in the public debate, although perhaps they will be affected the most by potential negative effects. Critics are especially concerned about the...
The main ethical principle in prenatal testing is the autonomous decision of the pregnant woman concerned. However, recent developments in prenatal testing undermine this model. The overall number of invasive prenatal examinations has dropped significantly. Yet, the amount of pathologic results has increased. Due to the improvement in ultrasound diagnostics the predictability of possible disabilities or diseases of the unborn child has increased substantially. As a result of this pregnant wom...
A comparison of the current structures and dynamics of UK and German biotechnology-based industries reveals a striking convergence of industrial organisations and innovation directions in both countries. This counteracts propositions from theoretical frameworks such as the varieties-of-capitalism hypothesis and the national innovation systems approach which suggest substantial differences between the industrial structures of the countries due to differing institutional frameworks. In this pap...
In this article we examine the legitimacy of committee standardization as an alternative to pure market processes of technical standardization of information and communication technology (ICT). We argue that not only mandatory (regulative) but also voluntary (coordinative) standards require some kind of democratic legitimacy. While the question of how to achieve this legitimacy has become central to today's changing world of standards, this situation is not adequately reflected in how the mou...
- Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer
University of Duisburg-Essen
- Raymund Werle
Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne
- Johannes Weyer
Editorial Advisory Board
- Arno Bammé
Interuniversity Institute, Klagenfurt
- Armin Grunwald
Research Centre Karlsruhe
- Dorothea Jansen
University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer
- Regine Kollek
University of Hamburg
- Werner Rammert
- Volker Schneider
University of Konstanz
- Peter Weingart
University of Bielefeld
Editorial Staff (at TU Dortmund)Jens Kroniger
Technical support, web publishing