Retrospective Technology Assessments

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.
 
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Astronuc

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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.
 
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.
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.
 

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,541
1,683
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/dp/1410201856/?tag=pfamazon01-20

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=v1ii4QsB7jIC&lpg=PA155&ots=DJUuwLSu7U&dq=technology in retrospect, critical events in science&pg=PA155#v=onepage&q=technology in retrospect, critical events in science&f=false

and from Inside the black box: technology and economics By Nathan Rosenberg
http://books.google.com/books?id=GSyGBicq1NIC&lpg=PA211&ots=Vmab5TSrZW&dq=Battelle, technology in retrospect, critical events in science&pg=PA211#v=onepage&q=Battelle, technology in retrospect, 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.
 
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