Our societies are deeply affected by scientific and technical progress on a social, political, ethical, economical and cultural level. Choices involving research and technology are human choices that crystallise certain human relations structures (such as the relationship between human beings and the environment), helping them to last or favouring new structures whilst eliminating others. These choices play a key role in the exploration of different possible futures and in the mastering of democratic societies’ common destiny. This is why it is crucial for these choices to enrich the democratic world and why it is important for the democratic world to master them.

However, the social dimension (in the broadest sense) of this exploration often remains implicit and citizens rarely have the possibility of influencing scientific of technical policies. Market laws, researchers themselves and «deciders» influence the main lines of scientific and technical orientations- decisions are often taken in our democratic systems’ blind spots and shadowy corners.