Technology Driven Societal Changes and our Post-Factual Society

Rasmussen, S. (Participant)

Activity: Attending an eventOrganisation or participation in workshops, courses or seminars


SiV Seminar Abstract: Throughout history, whenever new technologies have emerged that change our means of production and ability to communicate they have tended to transform society. Spearheaded by digitization, followed by emerging living and intelligent technologies, our world is currently being transformed into something we have difficulty imagining. The transition is likely similar in scale to what we experienced moving from an agriculturally based society to the industrial society although it will occur at a much faster pace. Our political institutions, the rule of law, human rights, the banking system, our education system – and even capitalism itself – are products of the industrial age. Using narratives from the industrial age we have learnt to navigate the industrial economy as individuals, and as societies we can exert some control to define its shape and limits. But what comes next, in a postindustrial world? What happens when our narratives no longer correspond to reality? Because of these ongoing transformations, part of the scientific community is in the process of assembling a so-called BINC Manifesto , named after the key converging technologies that shape the ongoing changes: the bio-, info-, nano- and cogno (BINC) technologies. The BINC Manifesto calls scientists and interested stakeholders to action to identify and document observables, trends, mechanisms and key issues concerning the emerging mainly technology driven societal transition. (1) The primary mission is to find out how things are (the facts). (2) Secondary - and separately from (1) - we as citizens and scientists may propose possible scenarios for how to develop our new postindustrial societies. In this seminar I first sketch some of the fundamental science and technology drivers that originally lead me to engage in these science-society activities. Secondly, I summarize the content of the BINC Manifesto, which I hope will spark lively discussions. Thirdly, I discuss some of my experiences as a national and international science and technology advisor. Finally, I discuss how and why part of the Danish Parliament and the Danish press have detached themselves from reality and now live in a post-factual society.
Period26. Feb 2016
Event typeConference
LocationCopenhagen, Denmark