Envisioning nanotechnology: New media and future-oriented stakeholder dialogue

Cynthia Selin, Rebecca Hudson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Nanotechnology promises to transform everyday life, yet there has been little reflection about the dilemmas, trade-offs and complex choices involved. Our project constructed a virtual public engagement platform in order to elucidate perspectives on multiple, plausible visions of human enhancement. Our new media platform operationalized open-source scenario planning to enable diverse communities to assess, critique and debate prospective nanotechnology-enabled products. Extending participation and deliberation through open-source mechanisms was an experiment involving not only an innovation of public engagement but also of traditional scenario planning. By revealing the NanoFutures project design and analysis, this paper explores to what extent this public engagement led to genuine dialogue and illustrates the risks and benefits of using multi-media tools in social science research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)173-182
    Number of pages10
    JournalTechnology in Society
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 2010


    • Emerging technologies
    • Human enhancement
    • NanoFutures
    • Nanotechnology
    • Web 2.0

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Human Factors and Ergonomics
    • Business and International Management
    • Education
    • Sociology and Political Science


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