ABSTRACT

Since then, the science wars of the 1990s have faded away even as technology assessment (Technikfolgenabschätzung) and so-called ELSA (ethical-legal-social aspects) research, or Begleitforschung, have become well established2 and have developed their own methodological toolbox and institutional settings. ere is general agreement that the transgression of conceptual or disciplinary boundaries is not only a standard situation in research and development, but that the systematic and institutional challenges posed by these transgressions in uence and even structure deliberation processes relating to innovation and governance. is becomes particularly relevant when a novel technology is introduced in society or when an existing technology develops surprise – in other words, whenever innovation processes and risk knowledge diverge. e fact that today’s STS and ELSA research are seen to play a decisive role in in uencing and indeed

even shaping the public perception of novel products and technologies suggests yet another phase or cultural moment in the relationship between the innovative research of the natural/engineering sciences and the so-called re ective sciences (Refl exionswissenschaft en). is relationship appears to be de ned by complementarity rather than by re ection following upon and reacting to scienti c and technological developments. is idea of complementarity, if not fusion, is underscored when someone like Christos Tokamanis, head of the unit ‘Nano and Converging Sciences and Technologies’ at the European Commission, proclaims at a workshop on funding directions: ‘Nanotechnology is not R&D as we know it but a socio-political project’.3