Nice feature in the May edition of the American Chemical Society’s magazine:
Momentum for technology assessment based on input from everyday citizens who are not experts in a particular topic, or participatory technology assessment, is just beginning to build in the U.S. To get the conversation started, a group of institutions, universities, and science museums, as well as a former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader turned science policy enthusiast (C&EN, Jan. 12, 2009, page 56), have teamed up and proposed a network dedicated to the process.
Called Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology (ECAST), the project is envisioned to be a geographically distributed network of complementary institutions that are independent of government. Nonpartisan policy research organizations would help broadly disseminate information to decisionmakers. Universities would both help assess technology and develop new ways to assess it. And science museums would help educate the public and inform society in user-friendly ways.