How to assess technological developments in basic research?
Enabling formative interventions regarding sustainability, ethics, and consumer issues at an early stage
AbstractIn an era of ever faster and more momentous technological development, both technology assessment and transdisciplinary interventions are in danger of structurally lagging behind the speed of innovation. This paper proposes a new tiered approach to technology assessment at low Technology Readiness Levels that enables a both rapid and concerted interdisciplinary science response to this Great Acceleration. Covering sustainability, ethics, and consumer issues, this approach encourages and enables the innovators themselves to conduct assessments embedded in the innovation process as early as possible. Suitable tools for early engagement that help facilitate development-integrated assessments are introduced and described. The design and use of these instruments in the field of basic research is illustrated using the Cluster of Excellence livMatS as an example.
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