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    Lens questions

  1. Assess the manifest complexity of the technology in question. For example, what is the manifest complexity of windmills? (Do they present tightly coupled systems that lead to unpredictable breakdowns?) Which is more manifestly complex, nuclear reactors or windmill turbines?
  2. Assess the concealed complexity . For example, do the operating procedures of windmills conceal complexity? Do nuclear reactors conceal complexity in the complicated regulation process that has developed between manufacturers and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? (Maybe, complexity is concealed in the divergence between formal and informal regulatory procedures, the latter having evolved as the NRC has been "captured" by reactor manufacturers.) See Ford
  3. Technological Imperative : Does the technology redefine or displace basic human needs or basic values? Does it require that we adopt ourselves to it?
  4. Reverse Adaptation : Does the technology require reverse adaptation? If yes, are there any viable "work around" strategies that could be implemented to align better the technology's needs with our own.

What you are going to do

    Exercise one: construct a socio-technical system grid

  • Choose a test case from above. (The alternatives include Cogentrix, Copper Mining, Windmills, and Laptops.)
  • Read the module, Socio-Technical Systems in Professional Decision-Making, and modify the STS table for Puerto Rico to fit the test case you are using.
  • Identify the values embedded in the technology of your test case and the STS you have modeled.
  • Identify any possible value mismatches between the technology to be introduced and the underlying STS.

    Exercise two

  • Select two of the lenses outlined above.
  • Examine your test case under the first lens by answering the questions. Give a global assessment of whether your test case technology is acceptable under the lens.
  • Examine your test case under the second lens by answering the questions. Give a global assessment of whether your test case technology is acceptable under this second lens.
  • Compare the results of the two lenses. Discuss areas of divergence between the two lenses. Discuss the areas of convergence.

Prepatory questions and module worksheet

Technology choice preparatory questions

Technology choice worksheet

Sts presentation for technological choice

Table displaying components of stss

Presentation on capabilities approach

Technology choice jeopardies

Technological choice cases jeopardy

Socio technical systems jeopardy

Jeopardy and responsibility


    Evaluate the lenses

  • Which of the three lenses presented in this module would you eliminate?
  • Which lens did you find most helpful? Why?
  • Would you recommend a new lens? What is it?

    Muddy point

  • What was the most obscure or muddiest point? (What didn’t make sense to you? What did you find objectionable?)
  • What was the strongest point of this module? What did you learn? Will you be able to put it to use?


  1. Feenberg, Andrew. (2002). Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited . Oxford, UL: Oxford University Press.
  2. Feenberg, Andrew. (1999). Questioning Technology . London: Routledge.
  3. Ford, D. (1981). A Reporter At Large: Three Mile Island. In The New Yorker , April 6, 1981: 49-106.
  4. Heilbroner, R.L. (2009). Do Machines Make History? In Technology and Society: Building Our Sociotechnical Future , Johnson, D.G. and Wetmore, J.M., (Eds.). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press: 97-106.
  5. Hickman, L. (1990). John Dewey’s Pragmatic Technology . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press: 140-153.
  6. Hickman, L. (2001) Philosophical Tools for Technological Culture: Putting Pragmatism to Work . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Your first item here
  7. Huff, C. and Finholt, T. (1994). Social Issues In Computing: Putting Computing in its Place . New York: McGraw-Hill.
  8. Kuhn, T. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd Edition . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  9. Mason, J. (1979). The accident that shouldn't have happened: An analysis of Three Mile Island. In IEEE Spectrum , November 1979: 33-42.
  10. Perrow, C. (1984). Normal Accidents: Living With High-Risk Technologies . Basic Books.
  11. Pinch, T.J. and Bijker, W. (2009). The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts. In Technology and Society: Building Our Sociotechnical Future , Johnson, D.G. and Wetmore, J.M., (Eds.). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press: 107-139.
  12. Reason, J. (1990). Human Error . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  13. Sismondo, S. (2004). An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies . Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing: 51-52.
  14. Trent, March. (1992). The AES Corporation: Management Institute for Environment and Business. In Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach, 5th Edition . Donaldson, T. and Werhane, P. (Eds.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall: 424-440.
  15. White, Leslie. (1949). The Science of Culture . New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 366.
  16. Winner, L. (2009). Do Artifacts Have Politics? In Technology and Society: Building Our Sociotechnical Future , Johnson, D.G. and Wetmore, J.M., (Eds.). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press: 209-226.
  17. Winner, L. (1978). Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought . Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press paperback edition.


Practical lenses for socio-technical systems

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Civis project - uprm. OpenStax CNX. Nov 20, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11359/1.4
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