From “More Innovation” to “Better Innovation”?

  • Sebastian Pfotenhauer


This paper departs from the observation that there seems to be a new appetite for critique and reflexivity in innovation policy and innovation studies (IS), owed in part to an abundance of recent innovation controversies. In what follows, I offer a cautiously optimistic take on what this new appetite means for STS’s relationship with mainstream innovation settings and why STS knowledge seems to be particularly en vogue right now. I explore three basic STS messages that have gained wider traction in mainstream innovation circles and that many actors not trained in STS now readily embrace: on the politics of technology, the politics of experimentation, and the work needed to situate innovation practices locally. Whether or not this new appetite for STS remains, as it were, primarily instrumental, it nevertheless opens up new opportunities for wider critical engagement and impact, and perhaps a stronger institutionalization of the field of STS.


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31 Dec 2023
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