The National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech, set up a project group in 2010 in order to investigate "Technikzukünfte: Vorausdenken – Erstellen – Bewerten" (Technology Futures: Anticipation – Design – Evaluation). The project group under the direction of Armin Grunwald met between September 2010 and June 2012 and finished its work delivering the present publication, which is at the same time the first volume of a new series by acatech called "acatech IMPULS" . This series is meant to include analysis and thought on fundamental questions of science and technology for science-based advice for policy and the larger public.
Technology futures play a significant role in societal debates and decision-making processes related to technology. They shape technological developments, justify public funding and heavily influence how people consider techniques and technologies. Despite the need for future thinking and its special importance in societal debates about technology, it is a particularly challenging task, because anticipating technology futures means to think in terms of multiple possible options with respect to society and technology.
It is therefore important to make transparent the possibilities and limitations of "technology futures", the methods applied and the presumed value judgments. Therefore special provisions must be taken for the construction as well as for the evaluation of "technology futures".
Having these challenges in mind, acatech set up this particular project group to come up with an appropriate guidance in these matters. It provides hypotheses and guidelines for the interpretation, evaluation and the design of "technology futures", and it provides insights how to deal with them. By this it is a worthwhile and important contribution helping to ensure the transparency required for science-based advice for policy and the larger public.
ITAS substantially contributed to this publication as Armin Grunwald was leading the working group and Christian Dieckhoff acted as coordinator of this project.
Technikzukünfte : Vorausdenken - Erstellen – Bewerten. Heidelberg u.a.: Springer, 2012. ISBN 978-3-642-34606-4