Home Sociology Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities
The TA Manifesto
Abstract: A common statement from the organizations involved in the PACITA project, the PACITA manifesto argues for the necessity of European political support of future efforts to expand technology assessment (TA) capacities in the European member states. The authors posit the tradition of technology assessment in European as a democratic project
to inform policy makers on societal and environmental topics related to science, technology and innovation. And they
call attention to the necessity of countering the increasing influence of science and technology on societal development and policy making with increasing capacities for technology assessment. Developing a more comprehensive 'policyoriented' approach to TA is called for by the authors along with an increase in cross-European collaboration in TA.
Klьver, Lars, Rasmus Шjvind Nielsen, and Marie Louise Jшrgensen, eds. Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. doi: 10.1057/9781137561725.0008.
Expanding knowledge-based policy making on science, technology and innovation
Technology is a central element in the policy response to the great challenges of our time, such as ageing societies, climate change and public health. In addition, emerging technologies such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology and the ever-changing Internet all challenge established policies. The encompassing quality of technology today is influencing the lives of citizens all over the world. The global transforming power of technology, thus, has to be aligned with policy making and democracy.
Technology assessment (TA) can be seen as a democratic project in Europe, providing and supporting robust and knowledge-based policy making on societal topics related to science, technology and innovation. It has mostly been established in the western parts of Europe and in connection to national parliaments.
Technology development and policies are becoming transnational. At the same time, the need for multilevel action on the grand challenges of our societies is obvious. Modern policy making needs to bridge these transnational and multilevel dimensions of the development, regulation, implementation and management of technology. The rapid technological development, in combination with science and technology's profound influence on societal developments and policy making, call for an important and increasing role for European TA in the future.
The PACITA project has during 2011–15 enhanced European TA by:
� enhancing the capacity for doing TA in and across European nations;
� increasing cross-European collaboration in TA;
� expanding the institutionalization of TA across Europe;
� developing the conceptual framework of TA into a more
comprehensive 'policy-oriented approach', adding to the traditional
parliamentary-oriented TA in Europe;
� raising awareness about the possibilities for modern policymaking
that lies in TA.
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