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Towards a Framework for Assessing the Impact of Technology Assessment

  • Leonhard Hennen
  • Sergio Bellucci
  • Robby Berloznik
  • David Cope
  • Laura Cruz-Castro
  • Theodoros Karapiperis
  • Miltos Ladikas
  • Lars Klüver
  • Sanz-Menéndez
  • Jan Staman
  • Susanne Stephan
  • Tomasz Szapiro
Chapter
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 22)

Abstract

Any discussion about the mission of TA and its relationship to policy making will soon enough touch upon the question of the effects that TA might or should have on decision making as well as on the content and path of political and social debate on technology issues. TA, as an endeavour that is meant to explore the possible impact of technology on society in order to support policy making, will naturally be asked to bear witness on its own impact as an indicator as whether or not it really fulfils its ascribed mission and tasks. Discussions on impact of TA, however, usually suffer from a lack of common understanding of TA’s objectives and of what can be expected as an impact of TA. Unsurprisingly, there is also very little available information on attempts to measure or evaluate the impact of TA in Europe. This reflects the past lack of coordinating action in discussing the goals of TA and the processes by which they can be attained. The knowledge vacuum in this area could influence the ability of TA as a discipline to communicate its roles and consequently, its value in society. It was the objective of the TAMI impact group to develop a structured discussion on the objectives, functions and effects of TA and prepare the ground for future attempts to evaluate TA procedures and their impact on related decision making processes. Being aware of the complex nature of the issue of impact evaluation, the group did not aim at developing a detailed scheme or a set of criteria for future evaluation procedures. Instead, TAMI aimed to provide a frame of reference on the relationship of objectives, methods and impacts of TA. The discussion among the group members — the outcome of which is presented in this paper — evolved around the question of which kind of impact can realistically be expected from TA as a particular branch of policy consulting taking into account its mission and methods, the nature of the issues it is dealing with and the characteristics of the field of policy making it is acting in. The result of this process of self-reflection among a group of TA experts from many European countries is mainly a matrix of TA impactsthat helps to clarify the role of TA in technology policy and the related impacts thatcan be expected.

Keywords

Technology Assessment Public Debate Policy Option Relevant Actor Social Debate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonhard Hennen
  • Sergio Bellucci
  • Robby Berloznik
  • David Cope
  • Laura Cruz-Castro
  • Theodoros Karapiperis
  • Miltos Ladikas
  • Lars Klüver
  • Sanz-Menéndez
  • Jan Staman
  • Susanne Stephan
  • Tomasz Szapiro

There are no affiliations available

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