And maybe because it did not want to be dependent on the statements of experts who were committed to their own interests and often received diametrically opposed judgments.Despite these difficulties, the American Congress came to the conclusion quite early that technological change should no longer be seen as a marginal issue in politics. The Blank January 2019 Calendar Printable deputies had recognized that they needed a special institution with the sole purpose of advising the Congress on the possible and expectable changes that accompany the development of technology in the lives of individual and whole societies.
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This consultancy was founded in 1972 under the name “Office of Technology Assessment” (OTA). Since then, it has been conducting “Technology Assessment” (TA), as it is called in the jargon: studies on possibilities and expected consequences of new technologies. The results of this research are for information purposes only; the researchers are not dependent on instructions or orders from third parties.
Certainly the history of the OTA is not a pure success story. Initial difficulties in building the infrastructure and developing methodologies were attempts by individual MPs to use OTA for their career interests or to exploit them for their policy goals. However, within a short time, the Office developed remarkable stability, integrity, and reputation, and studies were created that attracted worldwide attention.
For example, in the mid-1970s, OTA looked at US government considerations for a strategy of limited nuclear war-a nuclear war that would not wipe out all humanity and limit itself to a specific time or region. The OTA study quickly made it clear that the number of victims of such a conflict would be much greater than the proponents of this strategy assumed.
It was also the OTA’s investigations that raised doubts about the feasibility of the SDI program among American politicians and provided arguments for a discussion that is far from over.The OTA, however, is not only concerned with military techniques. The vast majority of its activities are civilian technologies, those techniques that influence the individual’s living conditions much more than weapon systems, which are only to be hoped never to be used.
Over the years, for example, studies on the conditions of use and the effects of different energy technologies, on the consequences of modern computer technologies for the labor market and education or on the possibilities of using adapted technologies. Third World, have emerged at the OTA.The previous work of the OTA has meant that the Office enjoys an excellent reputation in science and among politicians of various stripes, not only in America.
For many years, scientists and politicians from all Western industrialized countries have traveled to Washington to visit the OTA headquarters to learn how the impact of new technologies is being assessed.No one misses this – and least of all the researchers at OTA s Even – that the estimation of technological consequences is still a scientifically difficult undertaking, that exact forecasts are often Blank January 2019 Calendar Printable impossible. Misjudgment of some of the effects of technological development can not always be ruled out in principle by the “technology assessment”, as this concept is called somewhat unhappy in German.