Why is integration so difficult? Shifting roles of ethics and three idioms for thinking about science, technology and society
Keywords:Integration, collaboration, representational idiom, performative idiom, co-production idiom
Contemporary science and technology research are now expected to become more responsible through collaboration with social scientists and scholars from the humanities. This paper suggests a frame explaining why such current calls for ‘integration’ are seen as appropriate across sectors even though there are no shared understanding of how proper integration is to take place. The call for integration is understood as a response to shifting roles of ethics within research structures following shifts in modes of knowledge production. Integration is difficult, this paper suggests, because it challenges the modern normative division of labor affecting professional identities across sectors. Working out modes of integration is one important venue for working out alternative professional identities on the one hand and viable alternative understandings of research on the other hand. This paper discusses the matter with reference to three successive idioms for thinking about science, technology and society discussed in the literature; the representational, performative and co-production idiom.