Making the invisible visible
Normativities in and of technology assessment
Technology assessment (TA) is an analytic and interactive practice that produces evaluative judgments about the societal implications of technology. Despite this distinct evaluative disposition, “normativities” inherent in TA programs and practices often remain hidden. Therefore, TA practice and outcomes often overlook a range of methodological, ethical, and political issues. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, this article explores how TA aims to improve political decision making in science and technology (meta-normativity) and is imbued with the values, norms, and moral positions of both participants and TA practitioners (in-normativity). It provides recommendations to render these normativities in TA more visible, and thereby amenable to reconsideration and change.
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