Technology Assessment (TA) explores the relationship between science, technology and society. Is a concept which brings together researchers from different disciplines such as business economics, sociology or biology, to name a view. The common goal is to explore how current technological developments affect the world we live in.
More concretely, TA could for example make policy analysis about:
Technology Assessment has three dimensions (Note 1):
And TA has three objects (Note 2):
TA has been defined in numerous ways. One definition, which fits Parliamentary Technology Assessment well (Note 2):
"Technology Assessment (TA) is a scientific, interactive and communicative process, which aims to contribute to the formation of public and political opinion on societal aspects of science and technology."
The EPTA organisations have a specific attribute by fully or partly having obligations towards parliaments. This means in practice that formal policy-making is part of the focus for the TA activities.
More about TA can be found here.
1: According to the EUROPTA project, established by EPTA members. "Participatory Technology Assessment" ISBN 0-85374-803-9
2: According to the TAMI project, on which EPTA members took part. "Technology Assessment - Methods and Impacts" ISBN: 3-540-21283-3