Type de publication:

Book Chapter


Nanotechnology Unglued : Science, Society and Social Cohesion, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, p.forthcomings (2008)

Numéro d'appel:





Based on investigations carried out in a major nanoscience and technology cluster in Grenoble (France), the chapter explores the local emergence of nano research. It demonstrates how this is the effect of a previous local tradition of social cohesion, with a history stretching back 100 years, and of the action of one particular institutional entrepreneur. Together, they lead to the springing up of a new collective scientific and industrial endeavour. The resulting forms of social cohesion around this endeavour are described. This “success story” is not, however, as simple as it may seem. Prioritising nanoscience and technology leads to divides, oppositions, and an undermining of people's trust in scientific institutions, industry and political representatives. New lines of tension appear accompanied by the risk of social conflict, political controversy and industrial reluctance. One such risk was that enterprises potentially attracted by the local endeavour and resources might be frightened away. New moves and new constructions for social cohesion are then observed. The investigation uses ethnographic material collected in Grenoble over a four-year period from various research groups and institutions and interview material. The chapter analyses these moves to construct and reconstruct social cohesion that is forever evolving.


Humanities and Social Sciences/SociologyBook sections