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Towards a method for evaluating technological expectations: Revealing uncertainty in gene silencing technology discourse

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This paper investigates the dynamics of expectations from a cognitive semantic perspective, specifically the relationship between epistemological asymmetry and uncertainty. Building on the work of several other authors since the 1980s, we propose a new framework based on frame semantics for discovering and organizing information related to expectations. When this framework is applied to two sets of expectations surrounding the applications of RNA interference, a recently discovered molecular genetic phenomenon with increasing notoriety, uncertainty seems to be correlated with what we call conceptual distance, the difference between past/present and future aspects of expectations. In essence, levelling of epistemological asymmetry through frame semantic analysis can decrease or increase uncertainty based on conceptual distance from previously fulfilled expectations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Publication date: 01 July 2006

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