Rationalising the future? Foresight in science and technology policy co-ordination
University of Exeter. At the time of publication, the author was at Anglia Polytechnic University.
Commentators from diverse fields and backgrounds have argued the present innovation environment is one constituted by unprecedented levels of uncertainty. National Foresight programmes recently have emerged as a means of co-ordinating science and technology policies and responding to a condition of uncertainty and change. Perhaps the most systematic Foresight programme is that of the United Kingdom. This article discusses the response the UK Foresight programme offers to the present and future innovation environments. In doing so, it is argued we should examine how the ‘need' for the programme is constructed and how that need is defined and shaped in relation to past UK science and technology policies. It is suggested that Foresight presents an ambivalent response to many of the concerns it proposes to address.
ESRC project 'Knowledge Sourcing and Foresight: Public and Private Agencies in the Health and Life Science' ESRC grant L323253035.
© 1999 Elsevier Ltd. Pre-print of article originally published as SATSU working paper N13 1999.