Science is brought into the deeper layers of our daily lives by means of new information and communication technologies. Moreover, digitalization also changes the very mechanisms of knowledge production. Knowledge production is no longer simply a domain for experts anymore. What do the socialization of science and its complementary scientising of society mean today – under the conditions of digital networking? We carry out research in this field by examining both the activities of laypersons in research and development as well as the integration of citizens and/or users into knowledge production in politics and economy (Inklusionsapparate, Dickel), (Crowdsourcing als Innovationstechnologie, Thiem), (Citizen Engineering als neue Form der Bürgerpartizipation?, Wenten).
TechnoSociety places new demands on organizations with regard to knowledge-based and technology-dependent decision-making. Today more than ever before, organizations have to position themselves as being innovative active actors who are also willing to question and to modify their own structures based on new knowledge. Using case studies that are examined by technical universities (Technologies of Change, Schröpfer) we reconstruct the mechanisms by which organizations meet these demands.
It is characteristic of the nature of TechnoSociety that technical matters and social circumstances in new ways and degrees of diversity. Here the relationship between the humans as allegedly free, self-determined actors and machines as externally-controlled objects bereft of any “actor” status needs to be reconsidered. In order to achieve this we focus on the influences of neuroscience and robotics on social relationships: To what degree do the technological possibilities of neuroscience form a new basis for social self-conceptions and forms of interaction (NeuroTechSociety, Maasen)? And how do social assistance robots change our work and daily lives (Soziale Robotik, Lipp) if machines themselves take on the status of active techno-social actors?
In TechnoSociety there is only a fragile distinction between technical artificiality and organic naturalness. Nature is becoming increasingly technical, technology itself is becoming a second nature. The results are biofacts – objects that point to both directions of technology and nature. This becomes especially evident in the case of food: In TechnoSociety we come across biologically grown as well as genetically modified tomatoes and only at first sight can one be directly assigned as being natural or as being artificial. We examine both the production (Gutes Essen, Sutter) and the consumption (Bio, natürlich, gesund, Trachte) of biofacts in our research projects.