Integrated assessment of emerging science and technologies as creating learning processes among assessment communities
Emerging science and technologies are often characterised by complexity, uncertainty and controversy. Regulation and governance of such scientific and technological developments needs to build on knowledge and evidence that reflect this complicated situation. This insight is sometimes formulated as a call for integrated assessment of emerging science and technologies, and such a call is analysed in this article. The article addresses two overall questions. The first is: to what extent are emerging science and technologies currently assessed in an integrated way. The second is: if there appears to be a need for further integration, what should such integration consist in? In the article we briefly outline the pedigree of the term 'integrated assessment' and present a number of interpretations of the concept that are useful for informing current analyses and discussions of integration in assessment. Based on four case studies of assessment of emerging science and technologies, studies of assessment traditions, literature analysis and dialogues with assessment professionals, currently under-developed integration dimensions are identified. It is suggested how these dimensions can be addressed in a practical approach to assessment where representatives of different assessment communities and stakeholders are involved. We call this approach the Trans Domain Technology Evaluation Process (TranSTEP).
Heyen, Nils B.