Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Retrospective Technology Assessments

  1. Jan 14, 2012 #1
    I've recently become aware of such things where they look at a new technology and try to trace back all the research (both basic and directed) that went into it and the relative amounts of each and such. Specifically I've read about one in the 1960's called TRACES (technology in retrospect and critical events in science), however, I cannot find a copy of it online or elsewhere. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew a link or a book that does these sorts of analysis I'd be particularly interested in ones about more recent stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2012 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One could search on "retrospective, technology", but I'm not sure what one will find.

    I participated in such a program during the mid-1980s in which which a select set of graduate students particpated in seminars, meetings or conferences with scientists and engineers who pioneered work during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Those scientists were retired, and some of that generation were deceased. The objective was to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next or subsequent generation.

    Unfortunately, much of that technology has not been preserved. In some cases, improvements have been made. In some cases, technology has been lost.

    I've seen cases were an incredible amount of historical information and legacy technology has been trashed. But that's business.
     
  4. Jan 14, 2012 #3
    I'm afraid I don't really understand what you mean. I'm referring to studies and such done by the NSF that look at something like the "iPod" and track back the grand total of development effort, directed research effort and basic research efforts that led to the creation of such a technology. The justification being to gauge the relative importance of corporate R&D vs. fundamental research in producing the technological wonders we find around us.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2012 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Technology in retrospect and critical events in science, Volume 1, IITRI, 1968
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Technology_in_retrospect_and_critical_ev.html?id=j5goAQAAMAAJ

    Vol 2 - http://books.google.com/books/about/Technology_in_retrospect_and_critical_ev.html?id=qpgoAQAAMAAJ

    Someone involved - TRACES study at IITRI (Technology in Retrospect and Critical Events in Science. Chicago: IIT Research Institute.)
    http://scimaps.org/maps/map/tracing_of_key_event_4/


    Apparently there are different ways of doing assessments, as well as different types of assessments:

    Forecasting the Telephone: A Retrospective Technology Assessment
    http://thorngren.nu/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Sola_Pool-Ch1..pdf

    Retrospective Technology Assessment
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3103592

    Water and Wastes: A Retrospective Assessment of Wastewater Technology in the United States, 1800-1932
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3104713

    Technology Assessment
    http://www.iaia.org/iaiawiki/techassess.ashx

    Technology and the Air Force: A Retrospective Assessment
    https://www.amazon.com/Technology-Air-Force-Retrospective-Assessment/dp/1410201856

    Planning Report 03-1
    Methods for Assessing the Economic Impacts of Government R&D
    http://www.nist.gov/director/planning/upload/report03-1.pdf

    Assessing Research Impact
    Semiquantitative Methods
    http://erx.sagepub.com/content/18/1/11.abstract

    Apparently, there is a TRACES III, from Diffusion of innovations By Everett M. Rogers:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=v1...etrospect, critical events in science&f=false

    and from Inside the black box: technology and economics By Nathan Rosenberg
    http://books.google.com/books?id=GS...etrospect, critical events in science&f=false


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Technology_Assessment
    Some functions incorporated into GAO.


    It might be difficult to find a retrospective technology assessment on a given technology or system.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Retrospective Technology Assessments
  1. Why technology? (Replies: 48)

Loading...