Nanotechnologies and emerging cultural spaces for the public communication of science and technologies



In the last decade, social studies of nanotechnology have been characterized by a specific focus on the role of communication and cultural representations.  Scholars have documented a proliferation of the forms through which this research area has been represented, communicated and debated within different social contexts. This Jcom section concentrates on the proliferation of cultural spaces where nanotechnologies are articulated and shaped in society. The intent is that of showing how these different cultural spaces — with their specific features and implications — raise multiple issues and involve distinct perspectives concerning nanotechnology. More specifically, the articles presented in the section outline and characterize three different cultural spaces where nanotechnologies are communicated: science museums, hackerspaces and the web. The overall section’s argumentation is that the study of the  communication of nanotechnology requires to consider a multiplicity of different cultural spaces and, moreover, that the attention to the differences existing between these spaces is a powerful perspective to explore and make sense of the varieties of ways in which nanotechnologies circulate in society.


21 December 2012



Science museums perform representations of science and that of its publics. They have been called to intervene in nanotechnology within global public policy programs expected to develop the field.


New forms of co-working spaces and community labs, such as Hackerspaces and Fablabs, but also open science and citizen science initiatives, by involving new actors often described as makers, tinker