Mapping the De Facto Governance
of Emerging Science and Technologies
Daniele Rotolo 1, Ismael Rafols 1,2, Michael Hopkins 1, Loet Leydesdorff 3
1SPRU (Science and Technology Polocy Research), University of Sussex - Falmer, Brighton - BN1 9SL - United Kingdom
2Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València - Camí de Vera, s/n - València - 46022 - Spain
3Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam - Kloveniersburgwal 48, Amsterdam - 1012 CX - The Netherlands
We discuss the use of novel scientometric mapping techniques as informative and interpretative tools to trace the rapid dynamics and uncertainties featuring in Emerging Science and Technologies (ESTs). We show how scientometric mapping techniques can provide perspectives on and crosscuts of the geographical, social, and cognitive spaces in the complex emergence process. Shedding light on these spaces, the set of both intentional and un-intentional, institutional arrangements that are established in the emergence of novel science and technologies—that is, as de facto governance—can be revealed. The informative and interpretative power of these tools resides in the (increasing) speed of processing and their transversal flexibility within and across databases, which themselves are characterized by relative longitudinal and institutional rigidities. Allowing more informed perspectives may play a crucial role in supporting the design of governance that is ‘tentative’, i.e. forms of governance aiming to address the complexity, interdependencies, and contingencies featuring in ESTs. We discuss the contribution of these mapping techniques to the understanding of the phenomenon of tentative governance of ESTs across three case-studies, namely RNA interference (RNAi), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Thiopurine Methyltransferase (TPMT) testing technologies.
Key words: maps and overlays; de facto governance; emerging science and technology; scientometrics; case study.
|Spaces of Emergence
The authors acknowledge the support of UK Economic and Social Research Council (award RES-360-25-0076 - “Mapping the Dynamics of Emergent Technologies”) in development of the case studies. The authors are also grateful the US National Science Foundation (award #1064146 - “Revealing Innovation Pathways: Hybrid Science Maps for Technology Assessment and Foresight”) for the support in the development of the mapping techniques. The findings and observations contained in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the funders’ views.