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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report aims to familiarize and to provide an understanding of Technology Assessment both in its past and present form Its different viewpoints approaches tools and methods which are all relevant to the engineering decision-maker and analyst alike are discussed The four different Technology Assessment paradigms as described by Eijnhoven 1997 along with the views of lecturers in this subject on the question What is Technology Assessment is also discussed and analysed By understanding the roots of technological assessment and its impacts on everyday life one can recognize and appreciate the importance of its presence in an ever-changing environment The first part of this report aims to achieve this The second part of this report describes the increased need for engineers to incorporate Technology Assessment into engineering decision making and its practice Different engineering disciplines will see Technology Assessment in different perspectives How they will approach a particular problem through the different environmental social technical economic and political factors is part of the decision making process Taylor 2000 THE NEED FOR TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT Brief History In the post-war era the necessity of taking into account social costs and benefits as well as private costs and benefits became apparent At the time problems relating to forecasting the future consequences of complex technologies became more and more obvious Freeman 1995 Such an example if the issue of nuclear power The limitations of a purely economics-based assessment of social and environmental problems had become clear It was in these circumstances that techniques of Technology Assessment began to be used in an attempt to overcome the short-comings and limitations of cost-benefit analysis Thus Technology Assessment was adopted by US Congress and governments from around the world and was widely recognised through the need to make publicly available assessment of the potential risks hazards costs and benefits of developing new technologies It also sparked the
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