Ambivalences at the core of the scientific-technological dynamic
Additional requirements for a conceptual foundation of TA
In this paper, we propose ambivalence analysis as a central element of the conceptual foundation of technology assessment (TA). Ambivalence analysis complements classical cornerstones of TA – assessing impacts, complying with scientific standards, and providing policy advice (Grunwald 2007) – in order to enable a sound diagnosis of the current situation of the socio-technoscientific advance. We argue that ambivalence analysis, which should include an appropriate technology characterization, can provide answers to the challenges of the increasingly dynamic developments of the technosciences which are condensing into a novel type of technology, the “late-modern technology”. A radical early-stage orientation of TA should focus in particular on the scientific-technological core of technoscientific developments and visions.
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