Understanding the social consequences of digital technologies
The BioMaterialities research project deals with the use of digital technologies in agriculture. These range from new genetic engineering processes in the laboratory to big data analyzes of agricultural data and digitally controlled greenhouses.
On the one hand, these new technologies are often accompanied by great promises about their social or ecological benefits. On the other hand, there occur negative consequences or is leading to social disputes and political conflicts, for example over economic monopolies or patents for new products.
Digital technologies in the agricultural system have not only found their way into the fields but also along the entire value chain. This creates new business models when agricultural data is stored in the cloud.
How and by whom is this data then used? What are the advantages for farmers if they use digital platforms from large agricultural companies such as Bayer? And what effects do vertical economic integration processes exercise for producers and consumers if e.g. Amazon is entering the grocery trade?
The project analyzes these, and other changes caused by new technologies at different points in the value chain, the associated opportunities and risks as well as the underlying political and economic power relations and social inequalities.
Citation: Hackfort, Sarah (2020): Landwirtschaft in der High-Tech Bioökonomie.
[Source of picture: https://www.wissenschaftsjahr.de/2020-21/partner]