Authors: Lösch, Andreas
Title: Means of Communicating Innovations
Other Titles: A Case Study for the Analysis and Assessment of Nanotechnology s Futuristic Visions
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: 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 traditions when they analyze and evaluate the mediality of highlyfuturistic visions whose speculative contents correspond neither to current trends in nanotechnological research and product development nor clearly to strategies and interests of the actors of innovation processes. Based on a case study on the mediality of visionary images of nanomachines used in medical journals, popular science magazines, business press and daily and weekly newspapers, my article shows that highly-futuristic scenarios can by all means be analyzed and evaluated as means of communication which facilitate communication between scientific, economic and mass medial discourses about future potentials of nanotechnology. The use of these futuristic and visionary scenarios for communicating nanotechnology s futures influences discourse-specific assessments of the innovative potentials of current nanotechnological product developments. To enable an analysisand evaluation of the mediality of highly-speculative visions which are not directly related to practical affairs, my article extends the theoretical and methodological instrument of the current vision assessment program. I suggest a systems-theoretical reorientation of vision assessment which is currently dominated by actor theoretical models.
Issue Date: 2006-11
Provenance: Technische Universität Dortmund
Appears in Collections:Issue 2

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