Assessments of emerging science and technologies: Mapping the landscape
Nielsen, Rasmund Øjvind
De Bakker, Erik
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This paper presents comparative work from the EST-Frame project on technology appraisal. It focuses on studies of ‘advisory domains’ (more or less distinct traditions for assessment of technologies, such as risk analysis, foresight and ethical assessments). The purpose of the study was to increase the understanding of current assessments in order to identify whether more integrated approaches were needed. We present an analytic approach for studying assessments across advisory domains and present findings from our analytic studies, showing differences in methodological characteristics across the domains. We discuss how the domains partially overlap and identify gaps. We show how most of the selected assessments address technology trajectories and science, technology and innovation policies, and few address specific applications. Finally, we argue that quality control is important for the legitimacy of advice on emerging science and technologies and that the domains are important in this respect.