Technology and society: building our sociotechnical future

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MIT Press, 2009 - Science - 623 pages
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Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Lawrence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world.

The careful ordering of the selections and the editors' introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and in such other disciplines as engineering, sociology, and anthropology. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

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Contents

The Machine Stops
13
The Prolongation of Life
37
The Third Era of Human Reproduction and Some
51
Copyright

27 other sections not shown

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About the author (2009)

Deborah G. Johnson is Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Department Chair, Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia.

Jameson M. Wetmore is Assistant Professor at the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.

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