The Production of Knowledge
Vol. 3, Num. 8
In this article, Jones proposes that nanotechnology can be better understood (or at least more fully understood) from a sociological angle than from a scientific or technical basis. The field might be better left to non-instrumental scientists, working on their own and coming up with less industry-specific breakthroughs, than if instrumental scientists continue to drive it from the top down. The argument here is not that science should or should not directly benefit society (it should), but that the proprietary model is not necessarily the best way to realize that goal. Jones concludes that the point of nanotechnology in particular, and science as a whole, is to better the state of man and his control over nature, whether it be through public or private ventures; as long as nanotechnology continues to fit that bill, the mode of research is a secondary concern.