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Are assessments responding to a dynamic environment? Evidence from four emerging techno-scientific domains

: Doren, Davy van; Forsberg, Ellen-Marie; Lindner, Ralf

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Science and public policy 41 (2014), Nr.3, S.317-331
ISSN: 0036-8245
ISSN: 0302-3427
European Commission EC
FP7-SIS; 288981; EST-FRAME
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()
assessment; trends; emerging techno-scientific domain; policy advice; impact

Assessments of emerging science and technologies can assist actors to anticipate and influence techno-scientific development. Although the importance of contextual factors in techno-scientific development has been stressed, the extent to which economic, societal and political trends are integrated into assessment practices is unknown. Focusing on a number of such trends, this paper shows that there are clear differences in how trends are being addressed in different techno-scientific domains. Maturity, developmental speed and societal awareness of technoscientific domains, as well as associated impacts thereof, seem to influence the consideration of trends in assessments. Furthermore, both the extent and quality of trend reflection seem to be related to the methodological approaches applied in conducting assessments, including the use of participatory approaches, temporal orientations and the transparency of assessment processes in general.