The new spirit of technoscience: recalibrating symmetrical STS critique

Tess Doezema, Nina María Frahm

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This article situates Responsible Innovation (RI) as part of a larger shift in science and technology governance demanding a ‘social fix’ for innovation, which we argue amounts to a new spirit of technoscience. Inspired by Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello's analysis of the development of a ‘new spirit of capitalism’ from late twentieth century, we observe the rise of a new governance rationality in technoscientific innovation which places society, its needs, and desires at the center of scientific and technological development. This shift has significant implications for the field of science and technology studies, and the modes of critique that STS scholars mobilize in understanding and intervening in the politics of sociotechnical change. The new spirit of technoscience calls for a reassessment of familiar formulas of STS critique, with a renewed symmetrical approach to the prescription and production of democracy for science and technology governance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2281112
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2023


  • STS critique
  • democracy
  • public engagement
  • responsible innovation
  • symmetry


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