I was requested to make a contribution on “the societal need for technology assessment”. This request forced me to reflect on the same question as Armin Grunwald when he started to work on his introduction to technology assessment (Grunwald 2010), namely: whether there is some consolidated body of scientific knowledge that could adequately represent the self-understanding of the field “technology assessment”. Without such a body of knowledge, it would be very difficult to assess this heterogeneous field on its societal needs. The claims experts make in the field on (often assumed) societal needs for TA seem to vary just as much as the working methods and scientific disciplines involved. Now Armin Grunwald succeeded in turning his “introduction” into a major reference work for the field of technology assessment and thereby creating a consolidated body of knowledge, it seems to me that this would leave me merely with the task to provide some footnotes to his work, if I would choose to describe the societal needs from the perspective of the field itself.
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- Prospects for technology assessment in a framework of responsible research and innovation
René von Schomberg
- VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
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