Strategic Technology
           Assessment
Assessing the Impact of Technology:
 Where is Technology Taking Us?
Where are W...
 Up to Now We Have Discussed the
  Internal Dynamic of Technology:
     Technology as a Driver of Economic and
      Soc...
Origins of Technology
          Assessment for Policy Makers:
 First Disenchantment with        „Better Things for
  Tec...
Technology Assessment is an Effort to

     Anticipate Impacts
         Project Diffusion and Advance of Technology
    ...
Technology Assessment can be Applied

   To Any New Product or Process
   More Usually, to a Major Anticipated Advance
 ...
The Asilomar Conference (1975)
          on Genetic Engineering:
       The Classic Historical Precedent
Scientists Meet t...
Asilomar was a Closed
                 Meeting of Scientists
 „Boundary Work‟ to Establish this Issue as the
  Domain of ...
Classic Debate: Technological
         Optimists vs. Pessimists
 Malthus: Geometric Population Growth Inevitably
  Outstr...
 So Far, Increased Productivity through
  Improved Technology has Allowed
  Production and Jobs to Increase Faster than
 ...
The Debate Continues: Can This
       Go On Forever?

 Will Machines Only Make the Rich
 Richer? Will They Put Us All Out ...
Winners and Losers
from Technological Innovation:
   Social, Economic and
   Environmental Impact
Who Stands to Gain?

 Users, Manufacturers and Beneficiaries of the New
  Technology
     Their Employees, Suppliers, Ma...
Who Stands to Lose?
Who Stands to Bear the Risk?

 The Analogous Stakeholders in
  the Replaced Technology --
 Especially ...
Employment: The Most Prominent
  Economic and Social Impact
 Will the Economic Expansion Induced by the
  Innovation Abso...
“Orphan” Technology:
       A Need But No Market
 Customers Poor or Powerless
 Adoption Blocked by Policy
     Regulati...
An Aside: The “Orphan Drug Act” is
    a Special Incentive to Drug
   Companies (Fewer Regulatory
Hurdles, Longer Patent D...
Social, Cultural and Ethical
            Acceptability
 Does Anyone Find Basic
  Philosophical, Ethical or Cultural
  Obj...
Environmental and Public
            Health Impacts
         (An Issue on whose Importance
     We all can Agree, though w...
“Industrial Ecology”
                            Research, Design and
                             Development
 An Engin...
Biotechnology Presents
 Special Equity Risks
Are We in Danger of Creating
a Permanent Division between
Techno-Haves and Ha...
Cost-Benefit Analysis:
A Basic Tool in Organizing the Analysis
 of the Impact of any Intervention by
 Distinguishing betw...
Begin by Defining the Intervention
      and its Area of Impact

 A Project?
 A Policy?
 What‟s Inside and What‟s
  Out...
Then List its
            Costs and Benefits
 Financial Benefits and Costs are Those Felt
  Directly by the Investor, In ...
Cost/ Benefit vs. Precaution
 Precaution Addresses Risks, Not Benefits:
  How Much am I Willing to Pay (or How
  Much Ben...
In Practice, Cost/Benefit Does
            Not Always Include

 Who Bears the Costs, Who Gets the Benefits
 Risks and Wh...
Key Concepts of Cost-Benefit
 Compare an Honest Projection of the Situation
  With and Without the Project
     With: Do...
 Approach: Consider the Introduction of a
  Technology (or of a Policy) as a Project = A
  Bounded Set of Activities
 Th...
The Discount Rate: A Tool for
Comparing the Impact of Events
 that Occur at Different Times
Discounting Principles -- Important
 Benefits Today (Whether Financial or Non-
  Financial) are More Desirable than Benef...
Definitions

 Rate of Return: The Interest Rate at which Discounted
  Costs = Discounted Benefits: i.e., the Interest Rat...
“The Copenhagen Consensus” Shows
 Both the Strengths and Limitations
      of Cost/Benefit Analysis
 Asks What Interventi...
„Neuroeconomics‟ and the
           Hyperbolic Time Function

 Experiments Show that People Don‟t Discount the
  Future t...
Risk and Uncertainty
RISK: Exposure to the Possibility
             of Unfortunate Consequences
 Nothing is Risk-Free!
     Almost Any Decisi...
Risk Assessment vs.
     Risk Management
 Risk Assessment: An „Objective‟
  Assessment of the Magnitude of a
  Risk and o...
Philosophies of Risk
          Management
 Utility Based (Overall Cost/Benefit)
 Rights-Based (They Can‟t Do That to
  M...
Approaches to Risk
         Management
 Prevent the Cause?
 Reduce Exposure?
 Mitigate the Risk?
 Change Public Percep...
Risk Assessment Assumes that
   Probabilities of Damage are
    Known, at Least Within a
 Reasonable Range. It is Based on...
UNCERTAINTY:
We Don’t Know What Will Happen
 Scientific Uncertainty: Scientific Basis for
  Prediction is Lacking
 Techn...
Rumsfeld Classes of Uncertainty

 Things we Know
 Things We Know that We Don‟t Know
 Things We Don‟t Know that We Don‟t...
Technology Assessment as Now
         Practiced Involves

 Broad Expertise
 Involvement of Stakeholders
 Transparency
...
The Environmental Impact
  Statement: The Most Common
 Form of Technology Assessment
 Environmental Impact Assessments ar...
The Public‟s Understanding
             of Science is Limited
 Noone Can Know All the Science that May Affect
  Policy
 ...
Risk Communication

 Scientists Typically Assume that the Problem
  Lies in a Lack of Public Understanding, and
  Seek to...
Public and Expert Attitudes
Towards Risk Often Differ
 Public is Less Likely to Accept
      Risk Outside their Choice o...
Take-Home Message:
Technology Assessment is a Mix of

Technology and Values
Expert Analysis and
    Participative Politica...
Technology Assessment Helps
          Government to Integrate
           Technology into Policy

 Guide Technology into D...
Technology Assessment
              Helps Business to Avoid
               Failure to Anticipate
 Technological Transitio...
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STIA305 08

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Transcript of "STIA305 08"

  1. 1. Strategic Technology Assessment Assessing the Impact of Technology: Where is Technology Taking Us? Where are We Taking Technology?
  2. 2.  Up to Now We Have Discussed the Internal Dynamic of Technology:  Technology as a Driver of Economic and Social Change  Response of Technology to External Forces  But Can Humans Guide Technological Change?
  3. 3. Origins of Technology Assessment for Policy Makers:  First Disenchantment with  „Better Things for Technological Progress in Better Living 1960s-70s after 1950s Through Chemistry‟ Optimism IS REPLACED BY  Thalidomide N  Taconite Tailings in Lake Superior I  Diethyl Stilbestrol M  Urban Renewal B  Airport Noise Y!  Tuskegee Experiment  [Not in My Back Yard!]
  4. 4. Technology Assessment is an Effort to  Anticipate Impacts  Project Diffusion and Advance of Technology  Assess Overall Costs and Benefits  Identify Winners, Losers, and Risk Bearers  “Anticipatory Ethics” Technology Assessment (at least in government) has Evolved into a Multi-Disciplinary Process that Involves Stakeholders and the Public in Addition to Expert Analysts  Resist Technological Trajectory: Consider Alternatives Before You are Locked In  (This Allows Precaution at an Earlier Stage of the Decision- Making Process and Makes „Train Wrecks‟ Less Likely)
  5. 5. Technology Assessment can be Applied  To Any New Product or Process  More Usually, to a Major Anticipated Advance  Nanotechnology – Environmental and Health Risks  Neurotechnology – e.g., Truth Detection  Gene Therapy – Apply to Germ Cells?  Synthetic Biology – e.g., Synthesized Polio Virus  Public Health – e.g., Cervical Cancer Vaccine  Xenotransplants – Risk of new human diseases?
  6. 6. The Asilomar Conference (1975) on Genetic Engineering: The Classic Historical Precedent Scientists Meet to Assess the Hazards of New Technology:  Could an an Engineered Virus Escape from the Lab to Wreak Havoc?  A Genetically Engineered Organism would be Self- Replicating:  Recommendations:  Ensure that Engineered Organisms Cannot Survive in the Wild  Stop Progress for Key Experiments to Make Sure this is Possible
  7. 7. Asilomar was a Closed Meeting of Scientists  „Boundary Work‟ to Establish this Issue as the Domain of Experts:  Public and Congress, Stay Out! We‟ll Handle This!  Rolling Stone Published the Main Journalistic Account  But the Issues Addressed Affect Everyone and Involve Value Judgments  Technology Assessment Today is not Just an Analytic Process. It is a Social and Political Undertaking that Involves the Public in Addition to Experts.
  8. 8. Classic Debate: Technological Optimists vs. Pessimists  Malthus: Geometric Population Growth Inevitably Outstrips Linear Growth in Agricultural Production
  9. 9.  So Far, Increased Productivity through Improved Technology has Allowed Production and Jobs to Increase Faster than Population  e.g., Uncompetitive Small Farmers Become Truck Drivers to Transport Increased Agricultural Production, or get Industrial Jobs as the Economy Grows.  But Technological Progress Generates Losers („Buggy Whip Makers‟), Some of Whom Cannot Adapt – a Big Equity Issue for Policy Makers
  10. 10. The Debate Continues: Can This Go On Forever? Will Machines Only Make the Rich Richer? Will They Put Us All Out of Work Some Day?
  11. 11. Winners and Losers from Technological Innovation: Social, Economic and Environmental Impact
  12. 12. Who Stands to Gain?  Users, Manufacturers and Beneficiaries of the New Technology  Their Employees, Suppliers, Maintenance and Repair People  Inventors, Suppliers and Users of Successor Technologies that Build on this Success  Their Grocers, Barbers, and Tax Collectors  The Region in which These People Live – Property Owners and Workers
  13. 13. Who Stands to Lose? Who Stands to Bear the Risk? The Analogous Stakeholders in the Replaced Technology -- Especially Those Who Cannot Respond to the Change and Protect their Interests
  14. 14. Employment: The Most Prominent Economic and Social Impact  Will the Economic Expansion Induced by the Innovation Absorb the Unemployment Created by the New Technology? [Up to Now, It Always Has]  But the Losers May Well Have to Move and Retrain (for which they may be too old or under-educated)  And the Losing Regions Must Attract or Develop New Industry – e.g., US „Rust Belt‟ of 1980s, and All „Emerging Markets‟ in Developing Countries
  15. 15. “Orphan” Technology: A Need But No Market  Customers Poor or Powerless  Adoption Blocked by Policy  Regulations Block Adoption  Subsidies to Competing Technology  Class Exercise will Address the Launching of an Orphan „Invention‟ to which you have Title
  16. 16. An Aside: The “Orphan Drug Act” is a Special Incentive to Drug Companies (Fewer Regulatory Hurdles, Longer Patent Duration) to Encourage them to Develop Therapies for Rare Diseases
  17. 17. Social, Cultural and Ethical Acceptability  Does Anyone Find Basic Philosophical, Ethical or Cultural Objections to the Technology or its Function? [Recall Stem Cells, Genetically Modified Foods]  Is there a „Yuk‟ Factor? These Involve Value Judgments on which People will Disagree
  18. 18. Environmental and Public Health Impacts (An Issue on whose Importance We all can Agree, though we may have Different Tolerance for Risk)  Pollution and Waste  Ecological Impact  Potential for Accident or Misuse  Effect on Climate or Other Global Commons  Worker Health and Safety A Major Issue for Nanotechnology, Since Immune Systems Didn’t Evolve to Defend Against Nanoparticles
  19. 19. “Industrial Ecology”  Research, Design and Development  An Engineering and  Raw Materials Policy Approach  Manufacturing Intended to Minimize  Use Environmental Impact  Maintenance and over the Life Cycle of Repair the Product  Disposal and Recycling Take-Back Regulations  Obsolescence and Force Attention to this Close-Down or Life-Cycle ‘Footprint’ Decommissioning
  20. 20. Biotechnology Presents Special Equity Risks Are We in Danger of Creating a Permanent Division between Techno-Haves and Have-Nots? (e.g., by Enhancements of Brains or Bodies)
  21. 21. Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Basic Tool in Organizing the Analysis of the Impact of any Intervention by  Distinguishing between Costs, Benefits and Risks, and then  Asking: On Balance,  Will the World Be Better Off? (Economic and Social Analysis)  Will the Investor be Better Off? (Financial Analysis)  Who will Gain and Who will Lose?  Who will Bear the Risks?  This Framework is More Important than the Actual Calculation.
  22. 22. Begin by Defining the Intervention and its Area of Impact A Project? A Policy? What‟s Inside and What‟s Outside?
  23. 23. Then List its Costs and Benefits  Financial Benefits and Costs are Those Felt Directly by the Investor, In and Out of Pocket  Economic (also Called Social) Costs and Benefits are Felt by the Society at Large, Including Externalities – Measured by Gain or loss in GNP or Other Measure of Public Welfare  In Principle, Risks and Uncertainties can be Treated by Applying Percentage Probabilities
  24. 24. Cost/ Benefit vs. Precaution  Precaution Addresses Risks, Not Benefits: How Much am I Willing to Pay (or How Much Benefit am I Willing to Forego) to Avoid Risk?  Cost/Benefit Analysis Could be Recast as Precaution if Risks and Benefits were Expressed as a Function of the Chance that the Feared Danger is Real [this is a longer discussion]
  25. 25. In Practice, Cost/Benefit Does Not Always Include  Who Bears the Costs, Who Gets the Benefits  Risks and Who Will Bear them  Externalities (Although there are Ways to Quantify Some of these, such as Hedonic Pricing)  Long-Term and Irreversible Effects  These are Essential to Sustainability and Require Special Treatment
  26. 26. Key Concepts of Cost-Benefit  Compare an Honest Projection of the Situation With and Without the Project  With: Don‟t be Too Optimistic  Without: Don‟t be Too Pessimistic  NOT: With Project vs. Do Nothing  (Discretion is Often Abused to Ensure a Desired Outcome)  Costs and Benefits that Cannot be Quantified Should Nevertheless be Included in the Analysis Sunk Costs are Sunk
  27. 27.  Approach: Consider the Introduction of a Technology (or of a Policy) as a Project = A Bounded Set of Activities  This May be Anticipated to Have Costs and Benefits on a Time Schedule  These Refer to Overall Costs and Benefits. Later We Think about Who Gains and Loses  Externalities: Costs and Benefits Outside the “Project”  Benefits: Training, Technology Spin- Off, Employment Creation, Community Benefits  Costs: Congestion, Environment, Social Disruption,
  28. 28. The Discount Rate: A Tool for Comparing the Impact of Events that Occur at Different Times
  29. 29. Discounting Principles -- Important  Benefits Today (Whether Financial or Non- Financial) are More Desirable than Benefits later  Costs Today are Less Desirable than Costs Later  Discount Rate: The „Interest‟ Rate Used for this Comparison  Higher Discount Rate Means Less Concern for Future Costs and Benefits. (This Applies to Non-Monetizable Benefits as well, since the money can be invested so as to realize more benefits later.)  Any Positive Discount Rate Results in Neglect of Future Generations
  30. 30. Definitions  Rate of Return: The Interest Rate at which Discounted Costs = Discounted Benefits: i.e., the Interest Rate Equivalent to what you‟d get from a Bank  Benefit/Cost Ratio = Discounted Benefits/Discounted Costs  Net Present Value = Discounted Value Today of Future (Benefits – Costs) at a Given Interest Rate. [Used to Compare Investments of Different Sizes]
  31. 31. “The Copenhagen Consensus” Shows Both the Strengths and Limitations of Cost/Benefit Analysis  Asks What Interventions in Global Problems Have the Highest Cost/Benefit  Winners Favor Existing Technology with Rapid Payoff:  Nutritional Interventions  Bednets for Malaria  Climate Change Gets Short Shrift Because of Uncertainty and Long Time Horizon, Despite its Potentially Catastrophic Dimensions
  32. 32. „Neuroeconomics‟ and the Hyperbolic Time Function  Experiments Show that People Don‟t Discount the Future the Way Economists Think they Should  They Use a Hyperbolic Function Instead of an Exponential  Demand Immediate Short-Term Gratification  Short Payback on Conservation Investments  But Also Value the Very Long-Term  The Public Does Show Concern about Global Warming, Extinctions, and the Harm they will do to our Great- Grandchildren
  33. 33. Risk and Uncertainty
  34. 34. RISK: Exposure to the Possibility of Unfortunate Consequences  Nothing is Risk-Free!  Almost Any Decision is a Choice Between Risks  In a Risk, The Danger is Known -- But to Whom?  A Statistical Association -- Roll Dice  Equity: Who Bears Extra Risk?  Especially Vulnerable Populations  People or Countries w/o Clout or Capacity  Priority: Can Risks Be Compared?
  35. 35. Risk Assessment vs. Risk Management  Risk Assessment: An „Objective‟ Assessment of the Magnitude of a Risk and of Who Will Bear it  Risk Management: the Management and Policy Response
  36. 36. Philosophies of Risk Management  Utility Based (Overall Cost/Benefit)  Rights-Based (They Can‟t Do That to Me Without my OK)  Technology Based (Use the Best Technology and Go Ahead and Do It)
  37. 37. Approaches to Risk Management  Prevent the Cause?  Reduce Exposure?  Mitigate the Risk?  Change Public Perceptions or Expectations?  Compensate Those Who Bear the Risk?
  38. 38. Risk Assessment Assumes that Probabilities of Damage are Known, at Least Within a Reasonable Range. It is Based on  Empirical Analysis of the Statistical Relationship Between Exposure and Effect When Data are Available  Fault Analysis in Situations that Haven‟t Happened Yet  Rasmussen Report on Nuclear Power Shows Both the Potential and the Hazards of this Method  Risk Assessment is a Predictive Technique; Precaution is an Attitude.
  39. 39. UNCERTAINTY: We Don’t Know What Will Happen  Scientific Uncertainty: Scientific Basis for Prediction is Lacking  Technological Uncertainty: We Don‟t Know Whether a Technology Can be Developed or Will Work  Uncertainty in Impact of Technology -- We Don‟t Know Who Will be Helped or Hurt. It Depends on Many Factors External to the Technology
  40. 40. Rumsfeld Classes of Uncertainty  Things we Know  Things We Know that We Don‟t Know  Things We Don‟t Know that We Don‟t Know
  41. 41. Technology Assessment as Now Practiced Involves  Broad Expertise  Involvement of Stakeholders  Transparency  Respect for Local and Traditional Knowledge The Office of Technology Assessment was Abolished by Congress in 1995 – a Great Loss to the Country
  42. 42. The Environmental Impact Statement: The Most Common Form of Technology Assessment  Environmental Impact Assessments are Environmentally Oriented Risk Assessments. They are the Basic Instrument for Assessing the Environmental Costs and Benefits of Proposed Policies and Projects.  Too Often, Environmental Impact Assessments Required by Law have become Sales Documents for Projects Carried out After the Project is a Done Deal. Consulting Firms Need the Repeat Business.
  43. 43. The Public‟s Understanding of Science is Limited  Noone Can Know All the Science that May Affect Policy  When Something Affects Them, People Learn  NGOs and Epistemic Communities May be Key Intermediaries  Many are Highly Professional and Responsible, Others Less So  But Policy Issues Involve Values, not Just Science
  44. 44. Risk Communication  Scientists Typically Assume that the Problem Lies in a Lack of Public Understanding, and Seek to Overcome this through „Education‟ – i.e., Attractively Packaged Information. NOT THE RIGHT APPROACH  Instead, Start with What People Care About and What They Already Know – or Think They Know. Capture their Attention, Overcome any Common Misconceptions Respectfully and Then Add Information, Respecting the Range of Values in the Population.
  45. 45. Public and Expert Attitudes Towards Risk Often Differ  Public is Less Likely to Accept  Risk Outside their Choice or Control  Risks that Produce Minor Benefit  Risks, However Small, of Major Catastrophe  Dreaded Risks, esp. Nuclear Accident, Especially When Promised Benefits are Small  Public Attitudes May Not Change with More Information
  46. 46. Take-Home Message: Technology Assessment is a Mix of Technology and Values Expert Analysis and Participative Political Process Government and Business
  47. 47. Technology Assessment Helps Government to Integrate Technology into Policy  Guide Technology into Desirable Directions  Encourage Favorable Impacts  Anticipate and Prevent or Mitigate Undesirable Effects  Environment  Safety  Ethics  Social Impact
  48. 48. Technology Assessment Helps Business to Avoid Failure to Anticipate  Technological Transition  (Friden Calculators)  Potential Liability  Mattel and Lead-Painted Toys  Consumer Reaction  Monsanto and Genetically Modified Food crops  Impact on Corporate Image  Merck, Vioxx and Heart Disease

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