[en] In this paper we trace some of the key points in the history of Science and Technology Studies (STS). In particular we outline the inherently political dynamics of the field. Against We underline two emerging patterns in the curse of STS: the one of “depoliticisation” and the one of increasing “engagement”. We address the case study nanotechnologies and discuss their intertwined history with the STS. This allows us to point at the risk that the increasing institutionalisation of STS and the political mandate that frames and stabilizes the field’s relationship to the technological developments would create a political void. We conclude that STS research is at a crossroads. It is facing an important empirical turn, which may deprive it from its political significance, and constantly redefine its institutional constraints. STS has to continuously question its underlying political assumptions (as it occurs more and more regarding public participation) and to make it explicit.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS