Establishing a sustainable nanogovernance in Argentina. Nanotechnology with and for society
García Fronti, Javier Ignacio
MetadataShow full item record
Nanoscience is the study of phenomena at the nanoscale, where materials have different properties from those presented in classical physics. In the daily work of laboratories, science and technology are integrated giving birth to a common practice denominated Nanotechnoscience. This field configures a complex practice that co-creates a market with expected social and economic benefits, while generating new and unknown risks, both in terms of human health and the environment. This market is a sociotechnical network under which agents maximize their interests through economic calculations and where conflicts are solved through prices.The benefits of nanotechnology could be traced across economic sectors, promising new solutions to social problems. These aggregated promises, which are in permanent interaction with public policies, forge future expectations and put pressure on the process of allocation of national public resources, and shape the future of society in its whole. Hence, it is crucial to involve society in the governance of the nanotechnoscientific network from its early developments in order to achieve social responsibility. Experts, private companies, government agencies and society should be involved in an interactive process of responsible innovation, allowing a deliberative confrontation between different views and interpretations that would provide sustainable governance. Following Actor Network Theory, investments in the nano market could be interpreted as one of the most important inscriptions and translations of network interactions. Hence, it is crucial to develop tools to socially and economically valuate these investments, both from the point of view of private investors and from the governments. While the traditional perspective on economic investments revolves around the notion of equilibrium and only offers actuarial assessment tools, the dynamic economic, social and political perspective of this thesis allows the integration of previously neglected social and environmental issues into a valuation framework that could be used by policy makers and investors. This thesis contributes to the theory of techno-scientific governance by unpacking the nano-practice, its market and associated risks. It examines how the nano-practice, its industrial dynamics and society interact to create a market with new risks and benefits. After a demarcation and articulation of the concepts of sustainable nanogovernance and RRI responsible, this thesis evidences that the nanotechnology dynamics in Argentina is regulated by a de facto governance. Even though the State steers the productive sector (through funding and regulation) to address social inclusion, its top-down perspective to policy making excludes society from the different stages of the decision-making process. As a response to this finding, this thesis recommends the incorporation of a bottom-up public management approach that integrates the recognition of the centrality of the interactions between society and nature - allowing policy makers to work with and for society.