My general research interest lies in the role of future concepts for technology development, especially in the cases of nanomedicine and software development.
From 2011 – 2014
Scenarios as Patterns of Orientation in Technology Development and Technology Assessment
A projected initiated by Prof. Dr. Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer and funded by the German Research Foundation dealing with visions and scenarios in technology development.
„The importance of technological future concepts for technology development and prospective technology assessment has become widely recognized in the relevant literature. However, there is a lack of secure knowledge about how technological future concepts influence innovation processes. This paper outlines a research program with the objective to fill this research gap. The following considerations rely on three distinctions: Previous research on technological future concepts in innovation processes has been preoccupied with studying visions. My suggestion is also to look at more specific forms of technological future concepts, especially on situational scenarios. Secondly, I will distinguish between the social and the epistemic dynamics of technological future concepts. This distinction is accompanied by the assumption that the relevance of visions primarily lies in the social dimension whereas scenarios are relevant with respect to the factual dimension of innovation processes. Thirdly, one should take into account that future concepts may and will have different effects and uses in different innovation-related contexts. For this reason I distinguish between the research and technology policy context, the context of research and development, and the context of prospective technology assessment. For purposes of illustration, the following considerations refer occasionally to the contrasting use of future concepts in the fields of ubiquitous computing and nanotechnology.“ (Schulz-Schaeffer 2013)