Metatechnology: A technollogy for the safe, effective, and economical use of technology

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (2):145-153 (1987)
Alarmed by Three Mile Island, Love Canal, and other disastrous deployments of new technologies, the public is demanding more voice in the decision-making on technology. To make this possible, it is proposed that metatechnology be evolved that will provide a practical technology for the safe, effective, and economical use of technology. A case history of a specific metatechnology is presented. Here the metatechnology enabled a realistic balancing of the benefits of mass screening of women by mammography against the hazards from the X-rays. By showing that the screening of women under 50 was counterproductive, this metatechnology helped to ban such screening in a program involving a quarter of a million women. The strategic mistake in setting up this and other technological programs was that the decisions were made by the technologists. They benefited the technologists but were not beneficial to the women. One of the potentials of metatechnology is that in its fully computerized versions it could be used directly by the public for decision-making on the deployment of technologies.
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    Luciano Floridi (2011). Energy, Risks, and Metatechnology. Philosophy and Technology 24 (2):89-94.
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