Tracking the evolution of new and emerging S&T via statement-linkages: Vision assessment in molecular machines

D.K.R. Robinson, Martin Ruivenkamp, Arie Rip

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    73 Downloads (Pure)


    The past 10 years has seen an explosion of interest for the area of science and technology labelled “nanotechnology.” Although at an early stage, nanotechnology is providing a space for the creation of new alliances and the forging of new ties in many actor arenas, initiated based on promises and high expectations of the fruits that could be harvested from development and investment into nanotechnology. Those trying to characterise the dynamics of emerging ties and networks within this field are faced with a number of complexities which are characteristic of the nanotechnology umbrella term, which covers many technologies, various mixes of disciplines and actors, and ongoing debates about definitions of fields and terminology. In this paper we explore an approach for capturing dynamics of emergence of a particular area of nanotechnology by investigating visions of possible futures in relation to molecular mechanical systems (molecular machines). The focus of this text is to outline an approach used to map and analyse visions in an emerging field by taking as the unit of analysis linkages made in statements in texts, and the agglomeration of linkages around certain nodes. Taking the linkage, rather than node, allows one to probe deeper into the dynamics of emergence at early stages when definitions and meanings of certain words/nodes are in flux and patterns of their use change dramatically over short periods of time. As part of a larger project on single and macromolecular machines we explore the dynamics of visions in the field of molecular machines with the eventual aim to elucidate the shaping strength of visions within nanotechnology.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)831-858
    Number of pages28
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • IR-58135
    • METIS-240531

    Cite this