Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Levels of Expertise and Trading Zones: A Framework for Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Gorman, Michael E.

Journal Information:
Social Studies of Science
Vol. 32, Num. 12


Gorman links the concept "investigation of experience and expertise" (SEE), as described by Collins and Evans, to trading zones, and applies it to nanotechnology, particularly to the National Science Foundations's conference on Converging Technologies (NBIC) for Human Performance. Among the applications for human performance was the "super soldier," using nano-enhanced capabilities. Gorman's levels of expertise, or zones, allow differing levels of interaction around the development of technologies. In the case of the super soldier, "soldiers should be intimately involved in these new technologies." Moreover, ethicists should be involved as technologies are developed, some within the research team and other outside of the project. He also covers the emerging "Earth Systems Engineering Management." Gorman says "SEE should include the study of new kinds of expertise that emerge in trading zones exemplified by ESEM and by the NBIC converging technologies. Indeed, some SEE practitioners will become contributors to multidisciplinary trading zones forming around new technologies, combining scholarship, expertise and activism."