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Technikfolgen-Abschätzung: Entscheidungshilfe in einer komplexen Welt [Technology Assessment: Decision Support in a Complex World]


  • Gunther Tichy


The public and even scientists consider prevention and promotion of technologies as technology assessments’ primary task. This view is incompatible with democracy and devoid of any scientific foundation. Evaluating the cost and benefits of a technology affords value judgements, and the disputing parties lack common risk concepts, world views and visions. Insofar TA cannot substitute a decision by elected politicians, but it can improve the policy decision by assessing likely consequences. Support of this type is needed as cumulating knowledge made our world increasingly complex. General specialisation and, in particular, specialisation of scientists was the unavoidable consequence. It enabled the impressive technical progress but hinders holistic assessments as they afford general interdisciplinary knowledge. TAs’ task is to fill this gap and prepare decisions in all those cases where a problem presents itself differently to experts of different fields. The paper discusses for which questions and in which fields TA can offer such assistance, by discussing several studies of the Austrian Institute for Technology Assessment.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunther Tichy, 2004. "Technikfolgen-Abschätzung: Entscheidungshilfe in einer komplexen Welt [Technology Assessment: Decision Support in a Complex World]," ITA manu:scripts 04_02, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
  • Handle: RePEc:ita:itaman:04_02

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    Technikfolgen-Abschätzung; technology assessment; Riskokonzepte; risc concepts; Spezialisierung; specialisation; Entscheidungsvorbereitung; preparation of decison-making; expert knowledge; Expertenwissen; Interdisziplinarität; interdisciplinarity;

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