Scientific and technological trajectories: the experience of applying socio-humanitarian approaches to forecasting

Phylosophy
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Abstract:

The article offers socio-humanitarian approaches, connected with the forecasting of the development of scientific and technological trajectories. By scientific and technological trajectories it is customary to understand a certain set of ideas and technologies that arose as a result of an invention or discovery and many possible directions for their further development. It is noted that the interaction of society, nature and technology in modern conditions are characterized by approaching the threshold of qualitative changes, the process of which may turn out to be uncontrollable and irreversible. It is shown that an adequate understanding of those systemic interactions that undergo qualitative changes in connection with the rapid progress of technologies, entailing changes both in society itself and in the course of technology development, is necessary. The basic socio-humanitarian approaches to technological forecasting and technology assessment of that influence the formation of scientific and technological trajectories are presented. The methodological analysis of the science development, along with the socio-humanitarian expertise of the innovations being developed, undoubtedly forms the necessary basis for an effective strategy for managing technological progress, which turns into a task of paramount importance in the face of an increasing variety of risks. It is demonstrated that the proposed models of diffusion of innovations take into account the same factors that are taken into account in the technology assessment and humanitarian expertise combines these two sets of methodological approaches by assessing the role of the state and decision makers, their susceptibility to innovation and diffusion, or, conversely, containing technology. From a theoretical point of view, these findings show that scientific and technological trajectories do not obey “objective” laws, but, on the contrary, are dependent on random factors and, at the same time, on the targeted intervention of state actors and the expert community.