Editorial Technology Assessment for Addressing Grand Societal Challenges

George Kuk*, Isam Faik, Marijn Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review


Emerging technologies are both a cause of many grand societal challenges (GSCs) facing twenty-first-century societies and an integral part of some of their most promising solutions. As an element of the GSCs, technology becomes intertwined with several interrelated issues that constitute the GSCs. This calls for approaches to Technology Assessment (TA) that account for the paradoxical role of technology in the GSCs, and the imperative and complexity of pointing technological innovation toward addressing the GSCs. In this introduction to the special issue, we identify three major streams in TA research and practice, namely TA as a policy instrument, a deliberation process, and an issue field. These streams highlight tensions between relying on experts and on the inclusion of various stakeholders in TA processes, and between a TA framing around the intersection of technology and critical issues around critical issues, such as those constituting the GSCs. We discuss the advantages and challenges of each stream. We also outline and discuss key principles for conducting TA in the context of GSCs. We end by introducing the four papers that constitute this special issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1060
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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