The Role of Technology Risk Assessment Frameworks in Research
21 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2023
The increased rate and sophistication of technological advances over the last century has generally brought positive changes to society; however, new risks and challenges have emerged concurrently to these advances, necessitating the creation and adoption of processes for identifying and addressing such risks. As technological advancements have outpaced effective policies and legislation aimed at regulating their risks, there is a greater need for collaborative and proactive risk management for emerging technologies led by researchers and other stakeholders. Although there are many resources to address certain types of risk, such as worker safety, comparatively few resources are available to help researchers assess potential societal consequences of emerging technologies. To address this gap, we first provide an overview of relevant types of risks researchers should consider and the various types of risk assessments available. We then focus on the specific role of Technology Risk Assessment frameworks in evaluating risks of emerging technologies in the life sciences and adjacent fields and provide an overview of existing Technology Risk Assessment frameworks, including their strengths and limitations. We then discuss how and when researchers should use Technology Risk Assessment frameworks, considering the role of researchers and other relevant stakeholders in performing risk assessments. This work is intended to be used as a resource for researchers, at all levels of familiarity with the subject, to understand and appropriately use Technology Risk Assessment frameworks in their work. Given the rapid and continuous advancement of technologies and the subsequent risks posed to society, this work is important in helping the scientific community assess and address such risks.
Keywords: Risk Assessment, technology risk assessment, Responsible Research, Emerging Technology, Dual-Use, Anticipatory Governance
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