Science, Technology and Society Priority Group

Reserch theme- Emerging technologies

Technologies, such as nanotechnology, neuro-imaging, biotechnology, synthetic biology, information and digital technologies and geoengineering, are developing rapidly in modern societies.

They all raise social, ethical, regulatory and cultural questions, especially in terms of who the drivers are behind their development, how they are promoted and by whom, what media and rhetoric are used to do so (including visual and aesthetic representations) and how they shape society and the planet we live on.

One issue that is increasingly being discussed by policy makers and scientists is that of ‘responsible innovation’. Responsible innovation describes the process that helps researchers understand the benefits and risks of emerging technologies early on in the innovation process. Responsible innovation depends on innovative public engagement, risk management, life cycle analysis, ethical approval and regulation.

Key questions

  • What are the social and ethical issues relating to emerging technologies, such as biosafety or surveillance?
  • How do traditional and online media deal with the emergence of new technologies?
  • How do scientists and policy makers interact in the context of emerging technologies?
  • Can regulation keep pace with the rapid development of emerging technologies?
  • Which emerging technologies are accepted easily by the general public and which ones are not, and why?

Key research areas

  • Neuroscience and society
  • Nanoscience and society
  • Synthetic biology
  • Visualisation technologies and society
  • Geoengineering
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Fracking

NB. Some of this work overlaps with our energy and climate change research theme, as well as work carried out by the Energy Priority Group

Collaborations and partnerships

Our research dealing with sustainable biofuels involve collaborative efforts with:

Our research dealing with carbon capture and storage involve collaborative efforts with:

Our research dealing with nanotechnology and visualisation, images and society involve collaborative efforts with:












                Science, Technology and Society Priority Group

                Law and Social Sciences Building
                University Park
                Nottingham, NG7 2RD