Technology assessment

the Forschungsgebiet of the technology assessment is concerned with the observation and analysis of trends in science and technology and/or. Technology and the social developments which are connected with it, in particular the estimation of the chances and risks. The moreover is the technology assessment also guidelines for the prevention of risksand the improved use of the chances give. (see also endangerment)

background is that applications of techniques never fulfill only their work goal, but further side effects for the natural and social environment to beyond that have. (see also residual risk and threshold risk)

a simple example of it is the motor traffic:transport produces unwanted Verbrennungsprodukte, those into the atmosphere to be delivered and loads the residential environment by noise; necessary road construction seals surfaces, accelerates the surface discharge of precipitation and cuts the Habitate of large mammals.
Another example would be the portable radio Telefonie, with which electromagnetic scattering fields develop, of themInjurious character is discussed. Often these large effects are very complex and not at first attempt transparent.

The technology assessment contains the separately regarded fields of the technique consequence research and the technique consequence evaluation. In the first it concerns the scientific collection „of the consequences “and/or. Side effects, these are only worth-free seized and/or.represented. In the technique consequence evaluation it concerns the evaluation of the consequences which can be expected. The evaluation follows thereby the preferences, those by the concerning as a substitute to be given or from their deputies.

Table of contents

methods and execution

depending upon the kind of the examined technology or technology is usually used to variety of different methods. With literature search, document analyses and expert questionings first realizations can be won, which special fields more near into the investigationto be drawn in must. Case studies, computer simulations and the development of scenarios can supply quantitative data to the expected effects. Thereby if environmentalrelevant aspects are the center of attention, such investigations are called alsoenvironmental compatibility test “(UVP). Furthermore an evaluation of the risks can take place with procedures of the citizens' participation.

For the execution of a TA study the following operational sequence is conceivable:

  1. Problem definition
  2. description of the technology
  3. investigation and description of the forecast of the social
  4. and other developments
  5. evaluations of the consequences analysis of political action options
  6. generally comprehensible switching
  7. of the results it concerned
  8. by side effects of the technology

description is to be considered that forecastsin view of the simultaneous changes of the environment in its statement z. T. indistinct and imprecise are.


outstanding Forschungsgebiete are all current, global relevant scientific-technologic topics under economic and ecological criteria. V. stand. A. the methods of the power supply and the nutrition inForeground. In addition, is the possibilities of global communication by Internet from substantial interest.

(see also error friendliness)

institutional structures of the technology assessment

the institutional connections and structures of TA projects can vary. Here there are the following distinctions:

  • Clients and finance the investigation,
  • execution throughthe institution or by external institutes
  • result switching internally or also externally (participation of the public).

In the German Bundestag 1990 the instrument of the technique consequence evaluation were integrated after long discussion into the agenda.
After § 56a GO-BT the responsible committee for the technology assessment can arrange technique consequence analysesprepare and for the Bundestag as well as evaluate.
For the execution of these technique consequence analyses no parliament-own apparatus was created, on the contrary in such cases the office for technology assessment is assigned with the German Bundestag (TAB). TAB becomes of Institut for technology assessment and systems analysis of the research center Karlsruhe (FZK) upthe basis of a limited contract operated.

Agenda of the German federal daily (GOBT)
§ 56a technique consequence analyses

  1. It is incumbent on the committee for research, technology and technology assessment to arrange and prepare technique consequence analyses and evaluate for the German Bundestag. It can with the scientific execution of technique consequence analyses institutions outside of of theGerman federal daily assign.
  1. The committee for research, technology and technology assessment has to set up principles over the production of technique consequence analyses and to make these principles in individual cases the starting point of its decision.

In November 2004 persons and institutions the German-language day my shank united to the network TA. ThisExpertInnen understands itself and practical man inside in the broadly understood topic field TA (Technifolgenabschätzung/Technology Assessment) as a union from scientist inside, [sic, according to homepage].


critic (in particular from the camp of the Techno liberalism) accuse to the Technikfolgeabschätzern a negative attitude for technological development. As modern forming outthe Ludditentums, their the criticism, is thus subordinated a negative influence and no vision developed and to technology assessment follows the slogan “to brake instead of to arrange”.

see also

Social Construction OF Technology, Technology Governance, technology, paradigm change, future research, ethics, Technique ethics, restaurant economics, error friendliness, lastingness, Entschleunigung, globalization, Health Technology Assessment


  • G. Ropohl: Ethics and technology valuation. Frankfurt/M. 1996
  • VDI: Technology valuation: Terms and bases (guideline 3780). Duesseldorf 1991
  • R. Count von Westphalen (Hg.): Technology assessment.3. Aufl. Munich, Vienna 1997
  • A. Green forest: Technology assessment - an introduction. Edition sigma, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89404-931-6
  • pc. Bröchler among other things (Hg.): Manual technology assessment. (3 Bde.) Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89404-457-8

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