Summary and Recommendations
Separate recommendations are directed to two groups: those who sponsor assessments and those who conduct them. These recommendations are made under the assumption that the National Science Foundation-sponsored developmental and exploratory stage of technology assessment (TA) is nearing an end, which suggests that future TA's should concentrate on substance and make cumulative contributions to assessment strategy and methodology. TA are very difficult, spanning such a wide scope of interests and complexity as to tax the capacity of even a highly experienced team representing diverse scientific and social disciplines. Some recommendations for sponsors of TA are: Specify category of TA and the extent of public or interest-group input desired or expected; and Suggest a realistic time projection and concrete institutional, political, and societal bounding goals. And further recommendations are: Recognize the time and costs associated with personal data collection and assist the contractor in identifying and contacting potential data sources; and Specify in the request for proposal.