Technology Governance Policy Research Unit


Recent advancements in science and technology have made our lives more convenient and comfortable. However, there are still many unknowns in modern advanced technology, which may yield not only benefits but also risks. In order to minimize the societal risks involved in the application of science and technology and to maximize the benefits, proper management is necessary of the processes of scientific and technological research and their application. Insufficient regulation may increase risks, while excessive command and control measures could stagnate research. We conduct research on technology governance policies by adopting methods for social impact assessment (a new kind of technology assessment), and communicate our findings on appropriate regulation and maintenance of regulatory systems that will respond to changes in the times.

Research Outline

In considering the nature of current technological systems, we raise issues and propose choices. Our goal is to provoke societal policy discussion based on the views of stakeholders regarding the frameworks that underpin social decision-making. One such framework is social impact assessment, referred to above. We also seek to stimulate debate on how we might innovate regulatory systems such as nuclear power legislation to make them more responsive to changes in technology and societal demands, by a comprehensive evaluation of the benefits and risks of various technological innovations.

Research Projects