Technological promises are becoming part of the way in which scientific and technological communities try to attract the attention of stakeholders, aiming at legitimation, reputation, and funding. Not all promises, however, become reality. With the increase in the use of promises comes the risk of disillusion and cynicism, which may affect negatively policy-makers and the public opinion. The paper suggests that the introduction in the field of S&T and innovation policy of a tool commonly used in engineering fields aimed at identifying and measuring all possible failures of a proposed technology. Instead of focusing on the magnitude of promises, it suggests that a useful perspective can be gained by placing systematic attention to the negative side, i.e. all reasons why a given technology may fail to deliver the promises. The paper develops the methodology, presents a case study, and illustrates the benefits of using it in policy-making.

Functions and failures: how to manage technological promises for societal challenges

BONACCORSI, ANDREA;FANTONI, GUALTIERO;
2013

Abstract

Technological promises are becoming part of the way in which scientific and technological communities try to attract the attention of stakeholders, aiming at legitimation, reputation, and funding. Not all promises, however, become reality. With the increase in the use of promises comes the risk of disillusion and cynicism, which may affect negatively policy-makers and the public opinion. The paper suggests that the introduction in the field of S&T and innovation policy of a tool commonly used in engineering fields aimed at identifying and measuring all possible failures of a proposed technology. Instead of focusing on the magnitude of promises, it suggests that a useful perspective can be gained by placing systematic attention to the negative side, i.e. all reasons why a given technology may fail to deliver the promises. The paper develops the methodology, presents a case study, and illustrates the benefits of using it in policy-making.
Riccardo, Apreda; Bonaccorsi, Andrea; Fantoni, Gualtiero; Donata, Gabelloni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/285339
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