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- OTA faced problems in having objective technology assessments. The problems included having an obscured value judgement in TA study, giving social consequences uneven treatment, treating concept of objectivity in a misleading way, and failing to give the perspective of citizens (Sclove, 2010).
- According to Sclove, the goal of TA should be to give citizens effective participation in making technological decisions, having a broad articulation of social values, and tapping into available broad knowledge (Sclove, 2010). It should also aim at conducting TA that gives expedited conclusion in a cost effective way.
Winner asserted that the role, relationship, and rule of technological innovation should be given high attention similar to the attention given to political system, which can be integrated in PTA through effective integration of input from all groups in the society (Sclove, 2010). Wynne argued that politics plays role in defining procedures for PTA. This can be avoided by having an independent PTA body that is nonpartisan.
NASA asteroid initiaves is not likely to live up to PTA Promise. This is because public participation plays an insignificant role in affecting the objective of NASA in this initiative.
I would want to know the resources (find, time, and human resources) invested in the initiative and the return on this investment to assesses its effectiveness.
The government goal for consultation was to ensure that the technological innovation integrated the concerns of public, policy makers, and investors (Irwin, 2001).
PTA thinks that the goals of PTA should be to democratic and non-partisan (integrating the opinion of the whole society) in developing technology. These goals are similar to those of UK government; however, the government considered the input of investors more than that of other groups in the society (Irwin, 2001).
The structure led to the domination of some public concerns over the others, which made exercise to look less like discussion between government and citizens. The consultation was shaped by government sponsors, which lowered the degree of objectivity (Irwin, 2001). The social construction of audience did not portray a general representation of all people in the society.
Irwin, A., (2001) “Constructing the Scientific Citizen: Science and Democracy in the Biosciences.” Public Understanding of Science 10(1):1-18
Sclove R., (2010), Reinventing Technology Assessment: A 21st Century Model. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars