In this article we will briefly describe the institutional background of the Rathenau Institute, the Dutch parliamentary technology assessment organization. In section 2, its field of activity is outlined. The Institute tries to stimulate the societal debate on technologies, and the implications of societal demands for the design of technology. In section 3, the various programs of the Rathenau Institute are introduced. The programs Biomedical Technology and Information and Communication Technology focus mainly on studying and discussing the societal impacts of new developments within these fields. In the new program "Technological Systems: Animal Husbandry and Water Management" the question of design of the technological system comes to the fore. In the final section, it is described on the basis of two practical examples how TA projects are set up and how the Institute deals with TA methods. A typical project at the Rathenau Institute should not be seen as a linear event in which a single TA method is applied. A TA project, should rather be seen as a TA trajectory, consisting of several phases that each may involve different analytic and/or debating activities. The art of parliamentary TA is to combine these two activities in such a manner that they will come to mutually reinforce each other. In this way, the Rathenau Institute tries to both conform to scientific quality rules as weU as to stay relevant to Parliamentarians and other stakeholders.
|Title of host publication||Handbuch Technikerfolgenabschatzung - Band 2|
|Editors||S. Brochler, G. Simonis|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|