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12+Assessment+and+Governance

12+Assessment+and+Governance - SOSC111 Science Technology...

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SOSC111 Science, Technology & Society Lecture 12 Technology Assessment and Governance
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Why Technology Assessment is Important Understanding the consequences of technology Trying to foresee or predict such consequences A way to deal with complex technology Because complex technology is becoming more difficult to control (inter-dependence) Avoiding the mistakes of the past (social lag)
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The Value of Technology Assessment It can help policy makers reach better decisions It can assist business and public institutions in developing better technologies It can provide stakeholders and the citizens a better opportunity to discuss technology and influence its development 3 types of technology assessment: Project – A sewage treatment plant Problem – Air pollution Technology – Nuclear technology
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Steps of Technology Assessment 1) problem definition 2) technology description and forecast 3) social description and forecast 4) impact and stakeholder identification 5) impact analysis: benefits and costs 6) impact evaluation 7) policy analysis 8) communication of results
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Forecasting Technology Trends Description of the core technology Relevance to the solution of a problem Complementary technologies (needed to make the core technology work) Alternative technologies: Other technologies that may solve the problem How will it develop in the future? Technology forecasting
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Social and Economic Benefits Which benefits can be expected from the technology? Economic benefits Saving costs, open new markets Profits for business Social benefits Help solve social problems Reduce environmental problems Benefits for whom ?
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Social or Economic Costs: Hazards and Risk Analyze cost or risk of the new technology Describe impacts in quantitative terms (for example, probability of risk), or in qualitative terms (verbal or graphical) Rely on expertise Identify second-order or third-order effects (for example, polluted water sick people health service costs Who will suffer?
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Evaluation: Costs and Benefits Economic: Cost-benefit analysis Calculating total costs (including social costs or cost of environmental deterioration) and total benefits (economic returns, social returns) - and compare these Social/ Political Those who bear the costs are not always the same as those who benefit Some costs cannot be outweighed by the benefits (ethical concerns related to human cloning)
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Stakeholders Identify the stakeholders Stakeholders are the people (or organizations) that will be influenced , or can influence, the technology Assess their needs and interests Will the technology meet the needs of users, or should it be changed?
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