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Dreamscapes of ModernitySociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power$
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Sheila Jasanoff and Sang-Hyun Kim

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226276496

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226276663.001.0001

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Remembering the Future

Remembering the Future

Science, Law, and the Legacy of Asilomar

Chapter:
(p.126) Six Remembering the Future
Source:
Dreamscapes of Modernity
Author(s):

J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226276663.003.0006

This chapter examines the famous 1975 Asilomar meeting on recombinant DNA as a site of memory that informs how futures tend to be imagined in American governance of emerging technology. It argues that Asilomar-in-memory crystallizes an imaginary of “governable emergence” wherein science predicts and generates futures, and social institutions (like law) can only react to—and potentially inhibit—technological emergence. The chapter explores how remembering, retelling and reenacting the past can play a powerful role in regulating imaginations of the future and in shaping practices of governance in the present.

Keywords:   sociotechnical imaginary, science and law, bioethics, recombinant DNA, Asilomar, United States

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