Assessing Technology in a Global Context Clinton Andrews Past President IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (and Rutgers University)
Technology Assessment • Definition: Investigate likely impacts of technology choices • Purpose: Avoid unintended negative consequences, plan transitions • Conducted by: Government, Industry, NGOs, Academia • Methodology: Analytic deliberation with many variations
Example: Hydrogen Economy Ballard 2004
DELIVERED H2 COSTS OF VARIOUS TECHNOLOGIES Current Current Current Current Future Future Hydrogen cost ($/kg) Current Future Future Future Current Current Future Current Future Future Future (GEA) • GEA = Gasoline Efficiency Adjusted – scaled to hybrid vehicle efficiency NRC 2004
CARBON RELEASED DURING H2 PRODUCTION, DISPENSING & DELIVERY (FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES) Kilograms of carbon per kg of hydrogen NRC 2004
Example: Hydrogen Economy • Likely impacts: reduce air pollution, diversify energy mix • Unintended consequences: increase global warming & suburban sprawl • Conducted by: NRC, DOE, APS, EPRI, EU • Methodology: Technology roadmaps, expert deliberations, advocacy science
Technology Assessment: Origins • Marketing studies for new products • Governmental planning for security, economic development investments • 3rd party evaluations of business and governmental choices • Distinct national trajectories • Global approach?
U.S. Experience • Laissez-faire capitalism: fix unintended consequences after the fact • Wartime technology planning (Civil War, WW I, WW II, Cold War): systems analysis • 1960s: apply systems analysis widely in government, critical science movement, environmental regulation • 1972 - 1995: Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, academic specialty • 1995 - today: pluralism, NRC, IEEE et al Andrews 2002
European Experience • Mixed economies: efforts to plan • Military technology planning: long history • Post WW II: social democracies, focus on labor stability, reconstruction • 1990s: “baby” OTAs (esp. UK, Denmark, Netherlands) • Today: participatory assessments, public education, Europeanization of TA Guston & Sarewitz 2002
Japanese Experience • Mixed economy, military planning • Post WW II: economic planning for reconstruction & export-led growth • 1970s: strong response to energy crisis • 1980s: MITI becomes world model for strategic economic planning & TA • Today: sophisticated industry-government collaboration on global technology roadmaps • Question: any public participation?
Developing Countries’ Experience • Indigenous appropriate technology: Chinese biogas, Indian Enfields, Brazilian ethanol • Advice from bilateral & multilateral institutions: ADB, IBRD, USAID, etc. • Multinational corporations: from exploitation to mutual benefit in some cases
Nations Vary Greatly • Preferences: traditional/progressive, green/brown, … • Capabilities: large/small, rich/poor, … • Circumstances: producer/consumer, urban/rural, … • Technology assessment needs and practices must also vary widely
Need for a Global Approach • Global economic integration: in capital markets, product markets, factor markets • Global unintended consequences: climate change, biodiversity loss, resource competition • But when to do technology assessment in a global context?
Choosing When to Globalize • Centralize responsibilities to take advantage of scale economies, enforce widespread norms, pool risks, reduce spillovers • Decentralize responsibilities to allow experimentation, match local circumstances, encourage diverse civic cultures • Not all technology assessments should adopt a global view
Resolving National-Global Tensions #1: Allocation Logic • If national interest & scope, then nation does national-level technology assessment • If global interest and national scope, then subsidize national-level assessment • If globally-relevant public-good or pre-competitive technology, then jointly do global-level assessment • Else if commercial technology, then nations or corporations do global-level assessments
Resolving National-Global Tensions #2: Institutional Models • Need a coordinating institution to assign assessment responsibilities-- funding?-- expertise?-- consensus on public-good distinctions? • Institutional models:-- federation: European Commission -- multilateral agreement: IPCC -- bilateral assistance: USAID -- Nongovernmental collaboration: IEEE
Resolving Science-Politics Tensions • Manage boundaries between science and action so as to enhance salience, credibility, legitimacy of findings. • Requires active communication between experts and decision makers • Requires better translation across boundaries, use of ‘boundary objects’ • Requires active mediation of conflicts, dual accountability Cash et al 2003
Resolving Public-Private Tensions • Technology assessment = public good • Marketplace under-provides it, so government must step in • But firms know the most, so play key role • Create balanced participation, enhance salience, credibility, legitimacy • Funding: “1% for ethics”, business tax, government sponsorship
Adversarial Decision Making Decision Maker Policy Position A Policy Position B Supporting Science A Supporting Science B Stakeholder A Stakeholder B Andrews 2002
Conventional Advising Decision Maker Expert Policy Position A Policy Position B Supporting Science A Supporting Science B Stakeholder A Stakeholder B Andrews 2002
Joint Fact Finding Decision Makers Policy Position BC Policy Position AC Stakeholder A Stakeholder B Experts A and B Policy Position B Policy Position A Supporting Science B Supporting Science A Stakeholder A Stakeholder B Andrews 2002
Conclusions • Global integration changes context of TA • Need to revise “who” and “how” of TA • Satisfy criteria of salience, credibility, legitimacy--not just technical adequacy • Question: Role for IEEE? Idea: IEEE Transactions on Technology Assessment
For more information • http://www.ieee.org/ssit • email@example.com • http://radburn.rutgers.edu/andrews
References • Andrews, C.J. Humble Analysis: The Practice of Joint fact Finding (Praeger, 2002) at www.praeger.com. • Ballard Co. website, 2004 at www.ballard.com. • Cash, D.W., W.C. Clark, F. Alcock, N.M. Dickson, N. Eckley, D.H. Guston, J. Jager and R.B. Mitchell, “Knowledge systems for sustainable development,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100(14): 8086-8091 (July 8, 2003). • Guston, D.H., and D. Sarewitz, “Real-time technology assessment,” Technology in Society 24:93-109 (2002). • National Research Council, Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future Hydrogen Production and Use, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2004.