This book argues that new technologies and society's response to them have created a relatively new phenomenon, 'knowledge politics'. Nico Stehr describes Western society's response to a host of new technologies developed only since the 1970s, including genetic experiments, test-tube human conception, recombinant DNA and embryonic stem cells; genetically engineered foods, neurogenetics and genetic engineering, and reproductive cloning and the reconstruction of the human ancestral genome. He looks also at the prospective fusion of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, transgenic human engineering and cognitive science whose products may, as its boosters claim, some day cure disease, slow the aging process, eliminate pollution and generally enhance human performance.
Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany. During the academic year 2002/2003 he was Paul F. Lazarsfeld Professor at the University of Vienna. Among his recent book publications are Knowledge and Economic Conduct: The Social Foundations of the Modern Economy (University of Toronto Press, 2002).