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This assignment takes inspiration from an annual contest offered by the National Science Policy Network, (a professional organization for students with interest at the intersection of science and policy), in collaboration with the Journal of Science Policy and Governance. The National Science Policy Network contest page has links to past contest winners and other resources http://programs.scipolnetwork.org/2020memocompetition/#resources (Links to an external site.) (links to an external site) The Journal of Science Policy & Governance has definitions and examples linked from their author guide page (slightly modified text and their links below)
The ENGR2002 Technology Policy Memo will blend the size, structure, and scope of the Policy Memo with topics aligned with the journal’s option for a Technology Assessment paper (both explained below).
The final Technology Policy Memo must be directed to an individual (e.g., Governor, State Superintendent, State Environmental officer, etc.), organization (e.g., government agency or committee), or a business (for-profit or not-for-profit). This assignment can receive a maximum of 140 points. The paper will be have a maximum of 2,000 words plus references and a one paragraph executive summary. Tables, graphs, charts, or illustrations should be used to illustrate data, the technology, or related processes.
The topic must be technology-focused – in other words, an area where engineers with your degree and expertise would work. It does not have to focus on pandemic response, but those kinds of topics are on top of the mind for many of us right now.
What is a Technology Policy Memo? It blends the styles and structure of a Policy Memo with the topic considerations and content of a Technology Assessment. It argues to a decision-maker (or policy-maker) for the need of a policy to govern, regulate, or promote a certain kind of technology based on the short- and long-term consequences of the application of the technology.
What is a Policy Memo? A policy memo is a document that provides analysis and recommendations for a particular audience regarding a particular situation or problem. A policy memo usually describes a problem in great detail, potential solutions, and the policies needed for those solutions. It lays out very brief descriptions of options for policies, and concludes with a clear recommended course of action. A well-written policy memo reflects attention to purpose. It is well organized and has a clear, concise style. Click here for example Policy Memos.
What is a Technology Assessment? Technology assessments are a form of policy research that examines short- and long-term consequences (e.g., societal, economic, cultural, ethical, &/or legal) of the application of a technology. Technology is generally defined as “science or knowledge applied to a definite purpose.” Technology could be infrastructure (e.g., pop-up hospital or surveillance hardware networks), information/computing-based (e.g., an app to track contacts or uninformed use of location data), a product (e.g., improvised or inexpensive, quick-access PPE or autonomous vehicles), or a process (e.g., staff optimization or safety oversight). It must examine the policy and governance implications of the technology in question. Click here for an example of a full Technology Assessment. Full Technology Assessment papers in the journal are usually much more in-depth and nuanced, and thus longer than Policy Memos. Be careful to choose a small enough scope that you can do a full examination in the space allowed.
Your Technology Policy Memo will describe the details of a technology that exists and the problem that it solves or mitigates. It will examine short- and long-term societal, economic, cultural, ethical, and/or environmental consequences (good and bad) based on widespread adoption of that technology. Your group should examine the technology from the ethical, economic, and at least one of the other perspectives (i.e., societal, cultural, or legal). Appropriate scholarly sources must be used to support your arguments. The paper will end with a clear recommendation whether the technology should be deployed to address the problem.
Assessment and feedback for this assignment is organized topically. Evaluation throughout will focus on:
the appropriate selection and clarity of expression for the central claim
writing for an appropriate audience
use of sound evidence to support logical, rational analysis
cohesive paragraphs and coherent organization
a logical, concise conclusion
Of course, as with all assignments, sources will be reviewed for their reliability and validity.
– problem description: Artificial Intelligence runs the risk of possibly replacing the job that a person is working. The problem is finding a way to ensure this does not happen or to find a way to employ the people that are losing their jobs.
The audience of the memo: Politicians – we want them to implement policies and regulations to prevent this.
I just need to write about the following two points:
Discusses economic advantages and disadvantages of the technology, compares potential good & bad impacts to other technologies &/or doing nothing. Includes short‐ and long‐term views.
Social, Cultural or Legal Impacts–
Discusses positive and negative impacts of the technology on social structures OR compares how the technology may differentially impact certain cultures OR discusses legal questions or concerns for use of the technology. Includes short‐ and long‐term views.