Indicators in Technology Assessment – Passive Choices or Reflected Options?

Nuno Boavida, Stefan Böschen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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There is a lack of research on indicators in TA studies. But, there are several reasons supporting the need to address this omission: indicators are cornerstones of many TA studies, revealing the scope and quality of the problem addressed. They are not normatively neutral instruments for
analysing problems, but they can frame problems and strategies for the solution of problems.
They need to be transparent and thoughtfully selected to open alternatives and prevent unintended controversies; they require substantial refection because conditions for their use may change significantly, and finally they can provide valid insights for TA about the policy process. Furthermore, this paper offers a heuristic model for analyzing knowledge production within TA studies. This is done to improve the analysis of complex problems and structuring options for democratic decision-making. The model proposes a detailed explanation of the complete selection of indicators using transparent criteria and analysing the observables used or the ones which should be used or the ones not yet known. Finally, this paper provides insights into the discussion of the panel organized while addressing the question as to how we can acquire deeper and more comprehensive knowledge leading TA professionals to reflect on options in their studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParliaments and civil society in Technology Assessments
Place of PublicationPraga
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9788073331214
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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