Horizon ScanningHarry Woodroof, PhD FRSADstl Horizon Scanning Teamhjwoodroof@dstl.gov.ukLibrary & Information Science Rese...
Horizon Scanning: the rationale• The future is uncertain.• All decisions are made (in the present) about the future.• Ther...
Defence Science and TechnologyLaboratory (Dstl)• Agency of Ministry of Defence• >3,900 staff  – civil servants  – >70% sci...
Prime Minister and Cabinet                    Professor Sir John Beddington, CMG, FRS                Government Chief Scie...
Horizon scanning – a definition“The systematic examination of potential threats, opportunities and likely developments inc...
The „knowledge mix‟ in a research organisation                   what we know                    what we don’t know       ...
270º                              269                              268                              267                   ...
The “evidence-based policy” paradox• Policy is about solutions for the future• But conventional “evidence” is about the pa...
Four (of many) approaches topreparing for the future• Expert views                                       Common. (Deeply(?...
The problem with expert predictions • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers" –   Thomas Watson, chairm...
Individual experts - 2• Philip Tetlock: “Expert Political Judgement: How Good Is It?,” 2005   –   20-year study of 28000 p...
Use groups of experts?• Seek consensus amongst experts  – Doesn‟t always exist – especially at margins of a discipline or ...
The dangers of linear extrapolation   Prediction                                                  Reality                “...
Science & Technology      horizon scanning in Dstl                                 Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Ds...
Uses of S&T horizon scanning in Dstl“ Dstl seeks to ……understand science and technology risks and  opportunities through h...
Dstl S&T horizon scanningThe current state of human knowledge aboutnon-defence S&T developments…….                   …….is...
Dstl S&T horizon scanning:   examples of web sources used               Category                              Examples    ...
Dstl S&T horizon scanning:scanning not searching  • In searching, we describe what is (likely to be)    interesting before...
Dstl S&T horizon scanning:searching for excitementLook for developments containing, e.g…    revolutionary                ...
„Sentiment searching‟ on WWW“INNOVATIVE BREAKTHROUGH*”      OR “MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “MUCH-NEEDED BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “REA...
Dstl web-scanning for sentiment:possible limitations                                   Social             ?    Scope      ...
Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political (STEEP)       Horizon Scanning in  Government Office for Science...
HSC methodology:a “Scan of Scans”                   Expert                   Inputs  Scanning     of                      ...
Adam Smith Institute             British Social Attitudes    Europe 2020                Central Intelligence Agency   Amne...
The Horizon Scanning Centre‟s Sigma Scan   :   www.sigmascan.org                   Homepage: accessed 30 Mar 12           ...
Sigma Scan: example topics Social, Economic,  Environmental,                                            S&T      Political...
The rationale• The future is uncertain.• All decisions are made about the future.• Therefore, decision-makers need to get ...
Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012   Ministry of Defence
UK National Security Strategy, Jun 09 Chapter 4: The UK Government‟s Approach to National Security: interests, planning as...
EMERGING TRENDS IN THE SCIENCE BASEHorizon scanning5.15 The previous section concluded                             “Horizo...
Some other uses of horizonscanning in Govt.• “….. guarding against technological surprise through  horizon scanning”. Equi...
Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012   Ministry of Defence
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Dr Harry Woodroof: Introduction to Horizon Scanning

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Presentation to the third LIS DREaM workshop, held at Edinburgh Napier university on Wednesday 25th April 2012.

More information about the event can be found at http://lisresearch.org/dream-project/dream-event-4-workshop-wednesday-25-april-2012/

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Dr Harry Woodroof: Introduction to Horizon Scanning

  1. 1. Horizon ScanningHarry Woodroof, PhD FRSADstl Horizon Scanning Teamhjwoodroof@dstl.gov.ukLibrary & Information Science Research CoalitionDeveloping Research Excellence and Methods(DREaM) workshopEdinburgh 25 April 2012© Crown Copyright 2012. Published with the permission of the DefenceScience and Technology Laboratory on behalf of the Controller of HMSO. Dstlpublication reference: DSTL/ PUB63411.
  2. 2. Horizon Scanning: the rationale• The future is uncertain.• All decisions are made (in the present) about the future.• Therefore, decision-makers need to get and use information (in the present) about the future. Horizon Scanning can help! Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  3. 3. Defence Science and TechnologyLaboratory (Dstl)• Agency of Ministry of Defence• >3,900 staff – civil servants – >70% scientists, engineers, analysts• “Maximising the impact of Science & Technology (S&T) on UK Defence and Security• ….. and understand S&T risks and opportunities through horizon scanning”• S&T Horizon Scanning team of eight (most part-time)• Also Social, Economic, Environmental, Political futures Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  4. 4. Prime Minister and Cabinet Professor Sir John Beddington, CMG, FRS Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of GO-Science Government Office for Science (GO-Science) The Foresight Programme (as in 2009) Horizon Scanning Centre Foresight projects smaller projects, entire policy spectrum (large (18 months), science-focussed)SocialTechnicalEconomic strategyEnvironmentalPolitical Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  5. 5. Horizon scanning – a definition“The systematic examination of potential threats, opportunities and likely developments including but not restricted to those at the margins of current thinking and planning.Horizon scanning may explore novel and unexpected issues as well as persistent problems or trends.” Chief Scientific Advisers Committee (CSAC) 09/04 Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  6. 6. The „knowledge mix‟ in a research organisation what we know what we don’t know Answered questions Unanswered questions We know Libraries Research Programme Maintenance is key Access is key Unrecognised answers Unasked questions We don’t know Experience To ask what if? we don’t recognise, Requires external Internal connectivity stimulus or intervention is key Exposure to risk Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  7. 7. 270º 269 268 267 266 265 264 263 262 261 260 259 258 257 256 255 254 253 252 251 250 249 248 247 246 245 244 243 242 241 240 239 238 237 236 235 234 233 232 231 230 229 228 227 226 225 224 223 222 221 220 219 218 217 216 215 214 213 212 211 210 209 208 207 206 205 204 203 202 201 200 199 198 197 196 195 194 193 192 191 190 189 188 187 186 185 184 183 182 181 180 179 178 177 176 175 174 173 172 171 170 169 168 167 166 165 164 163 162 161 160 159 158 157 156 155 154 153 152 151 150 149 148 147 146 145 144 143 142 141 140 139 138 137 136 135 134 133 132 131 130 129 128 127 126 125 124 123 122 121 120 119 118 117 116 115 114 113 112 111 110 109 108 107 106 105 104 103 102 101 100 099 098 097 096 095 094 093 092 091 090 089 088 087 086 085 084 083 082 081 080 079 078 077 076 075 074 073 072 071 070 069 068 067 066 065 064 063 062 061 060 059 058 057 056 055 054 053 052 051 050 049 048 047 046 045 044 043 042 041 040 039 038 037 036 035 034 033 032 031 030 029 028 027 026 025 024 023 022 021 020 019 018 017 016 015 014 013 012 011 009 008 007 006 005 004 003 002 001 000 359 358 357 356 355 354 353 352 351 350 349 348 347 346 345 344 343 342 341 340 339 338 337 336 335 334 333 332 331 330 329 328 327 326 325 324 323 322 321 320 319 318 317 316 315 314 313 312 311 310 309 308 307 306 305 304 303 302 301 300 299 298 297 296 295 294 293 292 291 290 289 288 287 286 285 284 283 282 281 280 279 278 277 276 275 274 273 272 271 Dstl is part of the22 April 2012 Ministry of Defence© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012
  8. 8. The “evidence-based policy” paradox• Policy is about solutions for the future• But conventional “evidence” is about the past Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 8 Ministry of Defence
  9. 9. Four (of many) approaches topreparing for the future• Expert views Common. (Deeply(?)) unsatisfactory• Extrapolations Horizon Scanning• Scan www e.g. Dstl approach (S&T only) More complex Costlier (Hopefully(!)) more• “Scan of Scans” + people e.g. HSC Sigma Scan helpful Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  10. 10. The problem with expert predictions • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers" – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 • "640K ought to be enough for anybody" – Bill Gates, Microsoft • “This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication” – Western Union memo • "It will be years – not in my time – before a woman will become Prime Minister" – Margaret Thatcher, 1974 • "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau" – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929 • “Everything that can be invented has been invented." – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899 [urban legend] Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  11. 11. Individual experts - 2• Philip Tetlock: “Expert Political Judgement: How Good Is It?,” 2005 – 20-year study of 28000 predictions by 284 pundit, political academics and theorists• Experts barely did better than random guesses – Very basic computer models did far better• More prominent the pundit; the worse the estimate – Usually did better making political predictions outside their area of greatest expertise• Experts tend to attach great importance to things they know about – even if these are not critical to the outcome Slide based on Opinion Piece by Daniel Finkelstein. The Times. 04 Jan 12. Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  12. 12. Use groups of experts?• Seek consensus amongst experts – Doesn‟t always exist – especially at margins of a discipline or issue – Especially about the future! – Not the complete solution Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  13. 13. The dangers of linear extrapolation Prediction Reality “Precisely wrong” Time Time Futures “Imprecisely right” Time Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  14. 14. Science & Technology horizon scanning in Dstl Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  15. 15. Uses of S&T horizon scanning in Dstl“ Dstl seeks to ……understand science and technology risks and opportunities through horizon-scanning”. National Security through Technology: Technology, Equipment and Support for UK Defence and Security. Cm 8278. Feb 12IN ORDER TO: – Prioritise R&D programmes – Inform strategic Corporate Planning – Improve the Return on Investment in R&D Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  16. 16. Dstl S&T horizon scanningThe current state of human knowledge aboutnon-defence S&T developments……. …….is contained (reasonably completely) in the content of the WWW http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/WorldWideWebAroundWikipedia.png/220px-WorldWideWebAroundWikipedia.png Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  17. 17. Dstl S&T horizon scanning: examples of web sources used Category Examples Popular science New Scientist, Science Daily, Physorg (aggregators), Technovelgy… News BBC S&T, ABC (US and Australia), The Indian… Online journals RSC, Nature, Science, Web of Knowledge (aggregators)… Government Labs Argonne, NIST (US and Japan), CSIRO (Australia)…360° horizon Research Councils MRC, NERC, ESPRC… Academia MIT (Technology Review), Harvard, Queensland, Imperial… Blogs New Scientist, Wired, Technorati (search engine)… E-print servers ARXIV, PLoS (open access), Sciences preprint… Protoscience Scifiblog, DVICE, … Patents Derwent II, Espacenet, Inventorspot… Specialist sites Nanotechnology Now, Alternative Energy News, Medgadget… list of >500 sources Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  18. 18. Dstl S&T horizon scanning:scanning not searching • In searching, we describe what is (likely to be) interesting before we retrieve it. • In scanning, we realise what‟s interesting after we‟ve retrieved it. • The key challenge is then to turn a search engine into a scanning engine. Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  19. 19. Dstl S&T horizon scanning:searching for excitementLook for developments containing, e.g…  revolutionary  ground-breaking  unprecedented  paves the way  world‟s first  close to reality  first time  breakthrough  orders of magnitude  ……  paradigm  ……  previously impossible http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1171409 Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  20. 20. „Sentiment searching‟ on WWW“INNOVATIVE BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “MUCH-NEEDED BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “REAL BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “RECENT BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “REVOLUTIONARY BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “SIGNIFICANT BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH*” OR “BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY”OR “BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS” OR “BREAKTHROUGH RESULT”OR “BREAKTHROUGH REVEALS” OR “BREAKTHROUGH SCIENC*”OR “BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOG*” OR “BREAKTHROUGH THINKING”OR “BREAKTHROUGH* CAN DELIVER” OR “BREAKTHROUGH FOR BASIC”OR “BREAKTHROUGH FOR APPLIED” OR “POSSIBLE BREAKTHROUGH*”OR “BREAKTHROUGH* USING NEW” OR “BREAKTHROUGH* IN FUTURE”OR “BREAKTHROUGH* IN QUALITY” OR “BREAKTHROUGH* IN SCIENC*”OR “BREAKTHROUGH KEY ENABLERS” OR “BREAKTHROUGH* TO HARNESS”OR “BREAKTHROUGH FOR UNDERSTANDING” Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  21. 21. Dstl web-scanning for sentiment:possible limitations Social ? Scope Technological √ Economic ? Environmental ? Political ? Currency Time to publish Access To what‟s not web-published Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  22. 22. Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political (STEEP) Horizon Scanning in Government Office for ScienceForesight Horizon Scanning Centre Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  23. 23. HSC methodology:a “Scan of Scans” Expert Inputs Scanning of Gap New HS scans analysis research e-database Response Sigma Scan Testing Secondary Analysis inc.weak signals Peer review Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  24. 24. Adam Smith Institute British Social Attitudes Europe 2020 Central Intelligence Agency Amnesty InternationalArlington Institute Survey Future of Work (US) Board of Deputies ofAtlantic Monthly Centre for Environmental Futures Commonwealth Secretariat British Jews Research, Columbia Competition Commission British CouncilBrookings Institution University FuturistCato Center for Trade Institute for the Future DEFRA Baseline Scan Countryside Alliance e-Living (EC 5FP) ProjectPolicy Studies McKinsey Global Institute DEFRA Forward Look International Red CrossCentre for European ESRC Centre for Department for Culture, and Red Crescent Business Research, MORI Polls MovementReform Media and Sport Institute of Development Shaping Tomorrow Make Poverty HistoryCentre for Strategic and Department for InternationalInternational Studies Studies Shell Global Scenarios Development campaignChatham House Los Angeles Law Review Siemens Horizons Department for Work and Muslim Council of BritainForeign Affairs Policy Studies Review SRI Consulting Pensions OxfamHoover Digest Russian Journal, The World Future Society Department of Education Trade Union Congress (US) World Health OrganizationIndependent Commission Scienceon Population and Quality Department of Health World Trade Organization Science and Publicof Life Department of Justice (US) Institute for Public Policy PolicyInstitut de Recherche en Department of Labor (US) ResearchPolitiques Publiques World Values SurveyInstitute for Fiscal Studies SIGMA Scan: scan of scans: >250 papers: STEEP-wide Corporate Foresight Charities/NGOs the top Horizon Scan sources Expert/Strategic Think tanks thinkers Blog sites global coverage Academic Government sources Minority publications communities Alternative journals both „traditional‟ and Futurologists Mainstream media „unconventional‟ Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  25. 25. The Horizon Scanning Centre‟s Sigma Scan : www.sigmascan.org Homepage: accessed 30 Mar 12 Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  26. 26. Sigma Scan: example topics Social, Economic, Environmental, S&T Political • Active biomaterials for regenerative medicine• Right to live: right to die? • Quantum chemistry for• Global courting : the supremacy pollution abatementof international law • Nanowire sensors for DNA• Increase in e-commuting testing• UK rules OK : isolationist Britain • Advent of molecular• End of public broadcasting archaeology• Ghettoisation of minority • Computing on the humanpopulations platform• Landfill capacity limits reached • Solar: the energy wild-card• Economic impact of ageing • From ink-jet printing to personal• The “rights” of robots fabrication• Corrupting aid flows • Brazil‟s expanding tech. sector• …………………. • …………………. Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 26 Ministry of Defence
  27. 27. The rationale• The future is uncertain.• All decisions are made about the future.• Therefore, decision-makers need to get and use information about the future. Horizon Scanning can help! Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  28. 28. Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  29. 29. UK National Security Strategy, Jun 09 Chapter 4: The UK Government‟s Approach to National Security: interests, planning assumptions and organisation4.1 “This chapter sets out how we apply the principles and Strategic Framework discussed in Chapter 3 to the particular interests and concerns of the United Kingdom and its people. Drawing on an assessment of these interests, and our work on horizon scanning about the future development of threats and drivers ………..” Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  30. 30. EMERGING TRENDS IN THE SCIENCE BASEHorizon scanning5.15 The previous section concluded “Horizon scanning is a vital tool” Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  31. 31. Some other uses of horizonscanning in Govt.• “….. guarding against technological surprise through horizon scanning”. Equipment, Support, and Technology for UK Defence and Security: A Consultation Paper. Cm 7989. Dec 10• Threat Identification• Prioritisation of R&D programmes• Departmental and other strategies Dstl is part of the © Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
  32. 32. Dstl is part of the© Crown Copyright Dstl 2012 Ministry of Defence
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