The Social Implications of Bionics
What is the role of the engineer in these emerging technologies which have the body itself as the interface? Are engineers simply to be considered the scientific elite and will not bother themselves to consider what the potential fall-out (good and bad) of their research might be in “human engineering”? Should they be interested in controversies related to their research in order to dispel myths and reinforce legitimate points for discussion?
What safeguards should be introduced when we are engaged in the process of creating life-sustaining or life-enhancing technologies whether they are for diagnostics or prosthesis or even enhancement? How do we go about thinking about the limitations to our research? Do we wait for them to be diffused into society and then make a judgment or do we consider approaches like the precautionary principle which call for debate before widespread diffusion? Who will make up these teams of what is broadly known as technology/risk assessment. How will we engage the public? What frameworks do we need to introduce in order to ensure that in a free market things don’t go radically wrong.
Katina Michael. "The Social Implications of Bionics" The 3rd Asia-Pacific Symposium on Nanobionics. Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong. Sep. 2012.