Socio-Technical Integration: Research Policies in the United States, European Union, and China

Hannot Rodríguez, Hu Mingyan, Erik Fisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Research policies in the United States and the European Union have shown increasing eagerness in the last two decades to incorporate insights from publics and the human and social sciences into natural science and engineering research, while Chinese research policies devote relatively little attention to socio-technical integration. The ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Societal Implications) program of the US Human Genome Project functioned primarily as a parallel exercise with little real influence on genomic research practices, but more recent research policies for nanotechnology go as far as to redefine research and development in this field as a confluence of technological and societal research. In the EU, the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development show a progressive radicalization of integration discourses and practices. ELSA (Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects) research, for example, which has been conducted since the 2nd Framework Programme (FP2, 1987–1991) in parallel to the natural science and ­engineering research it studies, has been conceived as a constitutive part of ­science and engineering research projects since FP6 (2002–2006). Although there are few formal Chinese science and technology policies that encourage socio-technical integration, more and more Chinese scholars from both natural and social science and humanities have embraced the idea of integrating social and ethical concerns at an early stage of science and technology development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print)1879-7202
ISSN (Electronic)1879-7210


  • ELSA
  • ELSI
  • Framework Programmes
  • Nanotechnology
  • Research policy
  • Socio-technical integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Development
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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