Imaginaries of innovation: Turning technology development into a public issue

Udo Pesch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


New technologies will have a big impact on our public life-world, suggesting that it is necessary to have a public debate on innovation. Such a debate is missing: instead of having a debate on the process of technology development, only expected effects of new technologies are discussed. This is undesirable as innovation processes recruit implicit normative assumptions that should be opened up for public scrutiny. This article aims to outline conditions and possibilities for organizing such public debates on innovation. It will do so by depicting innovations as wilful metamorphoses which materialize worldviews and expectations entertained by technology developers. Existing technology assessment organizations could instigate discussions on the desirability and credibility of these worldviews and expectations, so as to further democratize the process of technology development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • innovation
  • metamorphosis
  • public debate
  • social imaginary
  • sociotechnical imaginary
  • technology assessment


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaginaries of innovation: Turning technology development into a public issue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this