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

Date 21-22 June 1996

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

    Publication Year: 1996
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Index of authors

    Publication Year: 1996
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • From big science to postmodern science: technology-intensive research in an era of competing public values

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):15 - 24
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    This paper uses the concept of “postmodern science” to illuminate the present social context for large-scale, technology-intensive research. Important recent changes in this social context are identified, and four case studies are used to demonstrate how scientific organizations are responding to these changes. A number of implications for science and technology policy are generalized ... 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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  • Civil applications of dual-use technology in Russia (case-study of lasers)

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):25 - 34
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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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  • 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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  • Esperanto: to enhance international collaboration on technology in the broader interest of society

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):515 - 520
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (548 KB)

    Technology is a worldwide concern and IEEE is a worldwide organization. A major problem in all international concerns is the language barrier. For instance, ten percent of the UN budget is consumed in translation services. Then beyond this immediate monetary cost, translation slows the process and increases the risk of serious misunderstanding. For instance, our war against Viet Nam went on for we... 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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  • Norms of communicative analysis

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):468 - 475
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    Analytical tools are hard to learn and use. Yet getting the numbers right is only part of the job for engineers, economists and other quantitative modelers. Bosses, clients, colleagues and members of the public need to understand-and believe-the analytical results, or else the job is not done. Practicing analysts work in a social, communicative context which few academics understand and about whic... View full abstract»

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  • Who cares about lifelong learning?

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):167 - 171
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (440 KB)

    It seems that everyone agrees that lifelong learning is vital to the success of an individual's career. Yet, it seems that lifelong learning is not a high priority among engineers who have been in industry for some years. This paper discusses lifelong learning and focusses on the roles that the individual the company, the IEEE and the university must play if lifelong learning is to be a reality View full abstract»

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  • Building public confidence in energy planning: a multimethod MCDM approach to demand management at BC Gas

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):348 - 356
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (908 KB)

    Energy supply and demand-side resource selection processes often must involve stakeholders, with the purposes of informing them of technical options and tradeoffs, and asking them for value judgments. Multicriteria decision making (MCDM) methods are one means of quantifying stakeholder judgments, but the way in which such methods are usually applied can cause stakeholders to feel manipulated by a ... View full abstract»

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  • Environmental regulation case study: thermal pollution and the Paradise power plant

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):522 - 531
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (900 KB)

    Over the past thirty years the United States has developed a very strong opposition to environmental pollution. One of the first signs of this growing movement was the 1970 addition of cooling towers to the Tennessee Valley Authority's Paradise Power Plant. By focusing on thermal pollution, this paper traces the evolution of one type of environmental regulation and its impact on the Paradise Plant... View full abstract»

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  • The democratization of systems of public opinion formation

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):110 - 117
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    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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  • Limited horizons, limited influence: information technology experts and the crisis of the London Ambulance Service

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):506 - 514
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    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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  • Technology, environment and public policy in perspective: lessons from the history of the automobile

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):67 - 75
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    The spread of the automobile over the course of the twentieth century has had a dramatic impact upon the environment. Drawing upon an extensive investigation of the early history of the automobile in the United States, the paper proposes a dynamic model connecting technological and environmental change. Three concepts are central to the operation of the model-technological choice, system, and scal... View full abstract»

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  • Different drums: contrasts between scientific communication and journalism

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):476 - 481
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (636 KB)

    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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  • Personal computing in community organisations: expertise out of context

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):323 - 336
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    The objectives of community-based organisations usually differ significantly from those of more market-driven business and corporate institutions. Recent developments in information technology, such as personal computing, have been largely directed to assist the goals of market-based organisations. Personal computing has had great success in this area, and this success has led to an increasing use... View full abstract»

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  • Risk-based regulatory reform and public participation

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):242 - 248
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    Meaningful public participation has been perceived as difficult to accommodate in regulatory proceedings requiring technical scientific judgments, especially those involving quantitative risk assessments. Quantitative risk assessment, however, is not a purely technical exercise, but instead involves the application of policy preferences in the form of assumptions, extrapolation from animal data to... View full abstract»

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  • Scientific expertise and regulatory politics in Germany: the formative period of handling risks by agreeing on “acceptable” standards, 1870-1913

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):532 - 536
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    Regulatory politics relates to issues such as “technical safety”, “environmental pollution”, “public health” etc. Problems of this kind involve conflicts of interested parties as well as the belief in science as a powerful resource for coping with these problems: The instrumentalist function of science seems to open a “best way” of administering risk... View full abstract»

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

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):120 - 129
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    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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  • Harmonization difficulties of European biotechnology regulation: EC directive 90/220 on the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOS)

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):84 - 86
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    In recent years, `risk' debate has become a means for adjudicating the legitimacy of contentious technologies (U. Beck, 1992). Often such debate centres upon `unacceptable risk', implying that the extent (and even type) of risk may not be scientifically known. As a response to the problems of reflexive modernization, discursive forms of technology assessment have been conceptualized for democratis... View full abstract»

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  • Courts, technology and the boundaries of expertise

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):207 - 213
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    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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  • 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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  • Industrial society as Hubbard's pimple. Is this the Unabomber's manifesto?

    Publication Year: 1996, Page(s):410 - 418
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    This paper is not about the Unabomber; it is about his indictment of the entire techno-industrial enterprise as expressed in his 35,000-word “manifesto” published under threat of further mail bombings by The Washington Post in joint arrangement with The New York Times. The Unabomber's claim is that as it grows exponentially, the industrial engine that technology drives creates the myth... 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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