Technology Assessment: tips and FAQ TIPS A few things to keep in mind when: Provide an overview of Technology Assessment (TA), including aims and approach adopted. A TA should be future-oriented. You may draw on some examples (i.e. case studies) of how a technology has already been used and the impacts that have emerged to support your assessment of its potential usage (and impacts) Focus on environmental implications of using your chosen technology (both positive and negative impacts). Interpret ‘environmental’ here broadly, in line with what we have covered in this course. For example, the broader social, cultural and more-than-human implications. Engage with TA as a process, in the context of your chosen technology and assessment. FAQ What technology should be the focus? A relatively new technology that hasn’t been applied yet (check that you can source enough research and information) In the R&D or pilot phase but not yet commercial or widespread (alternate energy systems and battery technologies) Already established but rapidly evolving (e.g. soft-engineering and low-tech approaches) An existing technology applied to a new problem/industry (or a new geographic region) If you find that you are mostly reviewing existing impacts, look at an aspect that could undergo change in coming years (e.g. innovation in material use, efficiency, costs) and think about the consequences of these changes from a systems perspective Can I choose a technology from the group presentation? A technology covered by another group is ok – but you will need to look at it differently and a little deeper. Should I first select a problem and then assess which technologies are best suited to addressing it? You can use a specific technology to explore a case study, though the case study is not the focus here (starting with a case study was the approach of the group presentation). Ask yourself: How might this technology be utilised? What broader and unintended impacts may the technology have (positive, negative) Should it be a report or an essay? Adopt a report style, using sub-headings. You may also use figures and tables (remember to include analysis/interpretation and to use references). What report structure should I use? You can adopt the structure from other TA reports your find during your research. An example structure you can follow is: Introduction Background (how it works, current/potential uses, different contexts that it could be utilised) Analysis of impacts (environmental and social: the technology itself and its implementation) Existing/alternate technologies Discussion (can be combined with existing/alternate technologies).
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