There are a number of subtly different definitions of technology policy. According to the American scientist and policy adviser Lewis M. Branscomb, technology policy concerns the "public means for nurturing those capabilities and optimizing their applications in the service of national goals and interests". Branscomb defines technology in this context as "the aggregation of capabilities, facilities, skills, knowledge, and organization required to successfully create a useful service or product". Other scholars differentiate between technology policy and science policy, suggesting that the former is about "the support, enhancement and development of technology", while the latter focuses on "the development of science and the training of scientists".
Classic political science teaches technology as a black box. Similarly economics treats technology as a residual to explain otherwise inexplicable growth. The creation of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy addressed the fact that policy can not treat all technologies as identical based on their social or economic variables. Technology policy is distinct from science studies but both claim Thomas Samuel Kuhn as a founder, while technology policy recognizes the importance of Vannevar Bush.
Technology policy approaches science as the pursuit of verifiable or falsifiable hypotheses, while science studies has a post-modern view whereby science is not thought to get at an objective reality. Technology policy is rarely post-modern. Its goal is the improvement of policy and organizations based on an understanding of the underlying scientific and technological constraints and potential. For example, some clean coal technologies via carbon sequestration and the allocation of electromagnetic spectrum by auction are ideas that emerged from technology policy schools.
The study of technology policy or engineering and policy is taught at multiple universities.
Engineering and policy schools
Information technology and policy schools
Science and technology policy schools
- ^ a b Branscomb, L. M. (1995). Confessions of a Technophile. Springer Science & Business Media.
- ^ Dodgson, M., & Bessant, J. (1997). Effective innovation policy: A new approach. Long Range Planning, 30(1), 143.
- The New Economics of Technology Policy Auth Dominique Foray Ed Edward Elgar ISBN 978 1 84844 349 5
- Mastering a New Role Shaping Technology Policy for National Economic Performance ED. NAP ISBN 0-309-58407-8
- Technology and Global Industry Companies and Nations in the World Economy ED. NAP ISBN 0-309-55501-9