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1996 International Symposium on Technology and Society Technical Expertise and Public Decisions. Proceedings

21-22 June 1996

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  • 1996 International Symposium on Technology and Society Technical Expertise and Public Decisions. Proceedings

    Publication Year: 1996
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (524 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Index of authors

    Publication Year: 1996
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Introducing technology to a traditional society: social and psychological implications

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):151 - 155
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (392 KB)

    Every society is keen on `development' through the application of technology. Thanks to the influence of the dominant culture, traditional societies are adopting Western technology, and the experience is not always pleasant. While the ecological and environmental aspects of adoption of new technology have received much attention, the social and psychological aspects have not. Take for example, the... View full abstract»

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  • Determinants of irrigation technology choice in Egypt

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):139 - 150
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    Existing studies of irrigation technology choice broadly maintain that farmers adopt drip and sprinkler systems because these modern technologies increase yields and lower irrigation costs relative to traditional flooding. Supply-side assistance from extension agents and irrigation equipment firms dominate the literature's prescriptions for promoting adoption. The Egyptian land reclamation experie... View full abstract»

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  • Critical digital systems and the ethic of expediency

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):252 - 261
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (996 KB)

    Software based digital equipment is finding its way into critical applications. This paper suggests that in our quest to use this equipment, we must place this new technology in the perspective of past technologies. Our current practices and understanding of how to create error-free, failure-free, and hazard-free software are based on empirical observations. As users, our understanding of how to e... View full abstract»

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  • The Foz Coa rock art case: towards a new relationship between science and policy making in Portugal?

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):130 - 138
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (832 KB)

    In a less-industrialised country like Portugal, the relationships between scientific expertise and the public decision-making system have been negatively marked by the low relevance assigned to science by public decision-makers and by the lack of a scientific culture in society at large. Decision-makers have shown the propensity, either to disregard scientific opinion, or to manipulate it, wheneve... View full abstract»

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  • Space and place in geographic decision making

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):311 - 317
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (804 KB)

    Recent innovations in computer science seem in some ways to have undercut traditional objections to the use of computers in decision making. For example, if some argued that traditional programming promoted a mindset within which decision making itself was a linguistic and rigidly rule-guided process, new systems of object-oriented programming seem to offer a much richer image of thinking. Yet, in... View full abstract»

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  • “Negotiating `Expertise'”: biotechnology and agricultural development in Zimbabwe

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):120 - 129
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (764 KB)

    Analyses of historical contestations over the meanings of “expertise” and its impact on agricultural development are presented. The paper illustrates the power struggle between competing groups to define expertise and to then use these experts to maintain their economic dominance. The paper also examines current and potential challenges to the political and material sustainability of b... View full abstract»

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  • The growth, accretion, and decay of cities

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):301 - 310
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1000 KB)

    The decision analysis way of thinking, including the notions of state and motion in state-space, is used to analyze the evolution of a city over decades of time and in response to a stream of decisions made by local government and others. Due to the numerous and complex interactions between the variables that characterize a city, we focus on a subsystem, or bipole, consisting of land use and trans... View full abstract»

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  • Limited horizons, limited influence: information technology experts and the crisis of the London Ambulance Service

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):506 - 514
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1020 KB)

    The failure of a safety-critical system in November 1992 gave the opportunity for IT experts to become involved in a wide-ranging public discussion. Their response largely focused on the process of systems development and the methods used in it. Partial solutions were marketed as the technological fix which would solve all problems. Few considered the technology in a wider social and political con... View full abstract»

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  • Complexity requires complexity: creating fits between technology and public decision-making in large projects

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):214 - 224
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (996 KB)

    The tension between technological development and public decision-making is analysed, in particular regarding large projects. Technological options and decision-making processes tend not to be attuned, which lessens the quality of the decision-making. Explanations for this tension are explored using theories of public decision-making and of technology dynamics. It appears that both technology deve... View full abstract»

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  • Losing ground: the demise of the Office of Technology Assessment and the role of experts in congressional decision-making

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):36 - 44
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (976 KB)

    In many ways during its 23 year existence the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) proved to be a remarkably successful experiment-an experiment that incorporated expertise into the Congressional process in a manner that raised the level of debate on science and technology issues. Over time, OTA became widely recognized as an agency that effectively met the needs of Congress, was in... View full abstract»

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  • The democratization of systems of public opinion formation

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):110 - 117
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (840 KB)

    The process of democratic decision making has always involved systems of public opinion formation. Systems of public opinion formation have not, however, always been democratic. With the increase in the use of computer mediated communications technology we may be witnessing the democratization of systems of public opinion formation. A fresh look at an old debate between Walter Lippmann and John De... View full abstract»

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  • Expertise and organizational developments: technological revolutions projected as bipolar “evolutionary vector” and “entropy distribution” continuum

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):288 - 297
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1048 KB)

    Despite, or perhaps because of, an immense expansion of pluralistic expert knowledge about organizational development, we lack an integrated and generic frame of orientation. Hence, the decline of once pioneering companies and the chaotic collapse of nation states defied prediction, including the spectacular cases of the East-European economies. Serious socio-economic upheavals are hardly preventa... View full abstract»

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  • The development of expertise in a disciplinary interstice: antilock braking systems and the electronic control of a mechanical device

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):497 - 505
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    Case study in the development of expertise is presented. The development of antiskid braking systems (ABS) for automobiles between the 1950s and 1970s is used to create a model of expertise formation in a new engineering community. Both the technical and social dynamics of expertise formation are considered. The case study centers on the emergence of three engineers, Leiber, Jonner, Gerstenmeier, ... View full abstract»

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  • Courts, technology and the boundaries of expertise

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):207 - 213
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (684 KB)

    The popularity of `new' technologies, such as the Internet and similar interactive media, has propelled controversies relating to their applications and purposes into the courtroom. Contemporary jurisprudence is now confronted with a constellation of issues which, while frequently masked as purely technical in nature, concern fundamental themes such as privacy and freedom of expression. This paper... View full abstract»

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  • The media and government officials: environmental policy communication

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):394 - 397
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (336 KB)

    The media play an important role in connecting citizens to government officials. Much of what citizens learn about environmental policy making and implementation is learned through media coverage of government actions. We have evidence to suggest that the media can influence citizens' perceptions of government, but we know less about the media's dependence on government. The paper is meant to exte... View full abstract»

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  • Civil applications of dual-use technology in Russia (case-study of lasers)

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):25 - 34
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The paper considers some civil applications of technology and concentrates on the Russian defense complex. Special attention is paid to dual-use technologies, the character of their conversion and their impact on the country's development. Lasers are taken up as a special example of prospective dual-use technologies View full abstract»

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  • Different drums: contrasts between scientific communication and journalism

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):476 - 481
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    The qualities which symbolize excellence in a scientific paper contrast in many respects with those that characterize excellent journalism. In part, this dichotomy arises because significant science, based on careful assessment of uncertainties and possible errors as well as prior results, intrinsically lacks qualities that provide journalistic interest. In addition, journalism and scientific comm... View full abstract»

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  • The IMPACTS curriculum: education for creating citizens in an expert-controlled, changing technological society

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):177 - 186
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    This paper presents the IMPACTS undergraduate curriculum that makes graduates citizens within the complex cascadingly changing technological society, i.e., that makes them “Technological Citizens”. “IMPACTS” stands for -Interdisciplinary Modular Program for Achieving Citizenship in Technological Society.” It is a set of educational goals and learning modules woven int... View full abstract»

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  • Scenario planning, the interpretation of uncertainty and value-focused decision making: a case study of a radioactive waste site remediation

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):364 - 368
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (428 KB)

    The interpretation of uncertainty is frequently a source of conflict in deciding on an appropriate course of action regarding the remediation of radioactive waste sites. Experts and laypeople may disagree on the uncertainty involving critical driving factors-political, economic, social, and technical (PEST)-of a proposed remediation. Questions such as, what constitutes a reasonable risk and what i... View full abstract»

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  • Public reaction to power frequency electric and magnetic field (EMF) effects

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):103 - 109
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (620 KB)

    The presence of various power frequency electric and magnetic field (EMF) effects has always implied the need for technological control of their manifestations. The power frequency EMF effects are associated not only with the transmission and distribution lines of the electric power system, but also with work environments, office machines, illumination sources, home appliances, computers and enter... View full abstract»

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  • Aspects of R&D and their impact on institutional issues: the case of AT&T

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):278 - 287
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    The breakup of AT&T in 1984 induced momentous changes in the infrastructure of the US telecommunications and had a dramatic effect on the international scene. The interest has focused on the impact of AT&T's break-up and the change in regulatory environment on the state of telecommunications in the US and abroad as well as on business expectations for the future. The article examines selec... View full abstract»

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  • Consensus conferences as participatory policy analysis, a methodological contribution to the social management of technology

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):231 - 241
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1096 KB)

    The method of consensus conferences arranges a high-quality analytic debate between a panel of lay people and a panel of experts in the presence of an audience. The attention for consensus conferences matches a more general revival of interest for the concept of participatory policy analysis. However, no comprehensive methodology for participatory policy analysis exists. A preliminary framework on... View full abstract»

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  • Generating understanding of technology

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):491 - 494
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    The importance of mathematics as a tool for exposition has been greatly exaggerated by trends in educating people who hope to become technical experts. As a result, such experts have difficulty getting others to understand them, but are also diverted from a major point: if you have to use mathematics to explain something, you don't really understand it yourself. Technology is more difficult than s... View full abstract»

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