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Technological Assessment

Lesson Title

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Technological Assessment


Technological Assessment is a term for processes by which people can evaluate technologies and technology systems. We need to evaluate technology to determine in what ways it may be good or bad. Useful questions help people to make technology assessments.

Six Technological Assessments:

  1. Economic
  2. Environmental
  3. Social
  4. Ethical and Moral
  5. Health and Safety
  6. Political

Economic Technological Assessments

1.      What are the costs of developing and using the technology?

2.      Will the technology affect jobs, business and industry?


Environmental Technological Assessments

1.      Will the technology impact the environment and natural resource reserves?

2.      Will the technology result in something that requires disposal?


Social Technological Assessments

1.      Who benefits and who suffers because of the technology?

2.      Who pays for the development and use of the technology?


Ethical and Moral Technological Assessments

1.      What are the ethical and moral issues involved in the development and use of technology?


Health and Safety Technological Assessments

1.      What if the technology gets out of control or becomes a hazard to the community and beyond?

2.      Are there health and safety risks associated with the technology, and what are those risks?


Political Technological Assessments

1.      Are there legal matters involved in the development or use of the technology, and what are they?

Sample Multi-Category Technological Issue

ISSUE: USAs dependency upon Foreign Oil


Economic: We need foreign oil to produce energy for factories and transportation so American's will have jobs.


Environmental: Transporting oil by ships has resulted in oil spills that have seriously damaged the environment.


Social: We need foreign oil for transportation so we can travel when we need to and when we want to.


Ethical and Moral: We often buy oil from and help rulers of foreign oil-producing countries who are unjust to their people.


Health and Safety: Many American's use foreign oil to heat their homes.


Political: We have to remain friendly with foreign oil-producing nations and even defend them with military force.

Vocabulary Terms


  1. Technological Assessments
  2. Technologies
  3. Economics
  4. Scientific Community
  5. Environment
  6. Scientists
  7. Work in progress
  8. Social
  9. Ethical
  10. Ethicists
  11. Commercialization
  12. Moral
  13. Health
  14. Safety
  15. Political deciscion makers
  16. United States Department of Defense
  17. Technology Readiness Level
Review Questions
Related Internet Links