Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Authors/Editors

Justo Corti Varela & Paolo Davide Farah


Routledge Publishing (London/New-York)

Publication Date



Traditionally, science and technology have been granted as sources of knowledge and objective truth. However, much more recently, they are also seen as human activities, conducted in a social environment. This new approach focuses on the intersections between science, technology and society, and particularly their regulation by the law. Concerns on how to best regulate the interaction come up in modern societies, and when either their use or their impacts are global, international law and international organizations become involved. The impact of the fourfold relation is so high that science and technology are seen as one of the reasons for the increased fragmentation of global law along sectoral lines instead of territorial ones. In this sense, multiple problems arise: tensions between justice and truth, the role of the so-called ‘experts’, the position of scientists, regulators, or the public in the decision making process, or the (in)capacity of the law to catch up scientific and technological changes, among others. This chapter analyses the general interactions between science, technology, society and law providing a theoretical basis for the understanding of other chapters of this book where specific problems of them are presented.