Technology Assessment in Practice and Theory

Head of ITAS Armin Grunwald gives a comprehensive overview on the field of TA – including the motivations for TA, its history and current practices. Based on profound experience he also provides a fresh theoretical perspective on TA in a global context.
Cover "Technology Assessment in Practice and Theory" by Armin Grunwald
Source: Routledge

Technological advance affects almost all areas of human life. Rapid digitization, increased mobility, and new biotechnologies deeply influence, amongst others, industrial production, entertainment, work, military affairs, and individual life. Besides overwhelmingly positive effects on wealth, comfort, innovation, and development, this also raises questions of unintended effects: For example of tensions with democracy, of the role of citizens, and of its sustainability facing environmental issues.

Technology assessment (TA) provides the tools and procedures that are needed to cope with this challenging situation. It was developed more than fifty years ago to enable science, the economy, and society to harvest the potential of new technology and to deal responsibly with possible adverse effects. In the meantime it has diversified considerably: Parliamentary TA in many European states and at the international level, participatory TA at the local and regional levels worldwide, and TA as part of engineering processes make it a diverse field of interdisciplinary research and scientific policy advice.

In his new monograph Armin Grunwald, head of the most longstanding TA institution in Germany, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), and of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag, provides the first comprehensive view on TA at the international level. He gives an extensive overview of motivations of this scientific field, its history and its current practices. Furthermore, he develops a fresh theoretical perspective on TA rooted in social theory and philosophy, and draws conclusions from the theoretical perspective for the further development of TA’s practices. (15.11.2018)

Bibliographic data:

Grunwald, Armin
Technology Assessment in Practice and Theory. Oxford: Routledge 2018, ISBN 9781138337077
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