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3 Author(s)

An agenda for technology assessment in the field of materials was developed through a process of dialogue among experts by use of a procedure known as a "science forum." Materials scientists and technologists formed one group of experts, and social scientists formed another group. A scenario of a "constrained economy" provided a background for the forecast of science and technology for the remainder of this century. From this forecast, "candidates for technology assessment" were proposed and were rated as to urgency by both groups of experts. Two statistical procedures were used to estimate the degree of urgency for technology assessment (TA), as seen by each group of experts. An impressive degree of correlation was found between the ratings of the two groups and between the ranks as measured by the two statistical procedures. Five of the 21 candidates for technology assessment were judged to be "prime," and four more were judged to be "secondary." While the study was done for materials technologies it should be applicable also to other fields of technology.

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )