Technology Science





Technology Science is a refereed online publication forum. Technology Science was formed because of a perception by the editors that no forum existed in which academic papers exploring the benefits and adverse consequences of social, political, organizational and personal aspects of technology were rapidly published, a condition the editors deemed necessary to encourage robust understanding about ways to harmonize technology and society.

The term "technology science" refers to the scientific study of technology's relationship to humankind. It is the study of naturally-occurring phenomena between uses of technologies and businesses, individuals, organizations, and societies. Studying technology science seems critical to navigating a future with fewer disruptions to technology investments, better informed policy decisions, and less unwanted erosion of societal norms.

The low cost and ubiquity of technology has resulted in unparalleled opportunities to violate, exploit, redefine, protect and enhance long-standing historical norms in all aspects of daily life. The rate at which new developments are forthcoming and adopted seems to outpace the ability of public interest to understand and affect possible outcomes. Published research, which ought to inform policy and regulatory discussions, has not been able to keep pace either. In part this occurs because research is time-consuming, but also because delays in ordinary print publication can exceed early opportunities to shape an issue. The fact that no publication forum exists for academic work on technology science also means that researchers in disparate application areas who encounter the same foundational problems have no effective way to share their insights, and the search for commonality among such problem is inhibited. Technology Science was established to alleviate these difficulties.

In general, it is useful to view issues in technology science as a competition between benefits of technologies and adverse, often unforeseen, consequences. For example, a video surveillance camera, despite its possible effect of enhancing security, is nonetheless viewed as a privacy-invading technology that may change historical social norms. A chip in the camera that de-identifies or encrypts human faces may address the unwanted consequence. The question whether such a chip can be built and whether it can perform its job effectively is a problem in technology science.

Today, there is a common false belief that in order for society to reap the benefits of new technologies, society must choose between innovative benefits or historical protections from harms. How can society enjoy new benefits without harms? Sometimes technology should bend to protect historical norms. Other times, historical norms need to evolve. Who decides? What should the decision be? The primary purpose of Technology Science is to promote these important investigations.





Copyright © 2015. President and Fellows Harvard University.