Evolving Patterns of Governance of and By Expectations - the Graphene Hype Wave

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Kornelia KONRAD, University of Twente, Netherlands
Carla ALVIAL PALAVICINO, University of Twente, Netherlands
Anticipation in the form of expectations, visions, scenarios, market forecasts, foresight and impact assessments has become a pervasive element in the governance of new and emerging science and technologies. This holds not only for dedicated governance tools as foresight or roadmapping processes, but also for a broad range of diverse, sometimes implicit anticipatory practices, such as certain types of scientific articles, which contribute to shaping expectations regarding particular science and technology fields as well as broader visions of socio-technical futures. In our paper we suggest to understand these anticipatory practices as being part of an evolving governance structure, where anticipation in the form of expectations, visions etc. contribute to the governance of science and technology, but may themselves be shaped and governed by these evolving governance structures. The paper suggests the concept of governance of and by expectations to capture this double relationship and uses this lens to investigate how expectations regarding the new material graphene, up to hype, have been shaped by various anticipatory practices. We follow these practices and expectations through different spaces related to science, policy and markets, which are all characterized by specific sets of anticipatory practices. In so doing, we show firstly, how the (anticipatory) governance patterns evolve over time, and secondly, how the graphene hype emerged, along with the emergence of graphene as a techno-scientific field. We suggest that what we observe may be described as a hype wave moving through time and spaces, rather than as a purely temporally structured hype cycle.