How can legislators participate in shaping technological change?

INGSA 2021  |  September 30 August – 2 September 2021 - Montréal, Canada

Emerging technologies are accelerating social change at a rapid pace. Therefore, we must re-visit societal values in light of perpetual social and technological innovations. In navigating this topography of change, parliaments must aggregate, articulate, and thus represent societal interests and values. Negotiating the current pace of innovation across various areas poses a challenge for legislators and researchers. Both must co-develop a common knowledge base to inform both parliamentary action and the direction of innovation. Previous research on the science-policy interface has predominantly focused on the executive branch at the expense of the field of legislative science advice. Research covers thoroughly issues in health and environmental sciences. 

There is a substantial gap for research to explore science advice on technological innovation. This PhD project focuses on the question of how parliaments can participate in shaping technological change? This includes, how legislators and researchers interact throughout evolving innovation processes, and what factors facilitate and hinder the co-creation of a joint knowledge base? 

The mixed-methods approach combines a systematic literature review, based on which I developed a variable model, with empirical research in Germany. The video poster presents the findings from the explorative, qualitative pilot interview study (20+ researchers and legislators in Germany, April-July 2021), which is to be followed by a large-scale quantitative survey (1,000 researchers + 200 legislators in Germany, planned for October-December 2021) to validate the variable model. 

The findings will contribute to the state of academic research on legislative science advice and inform the design of a prototypical "impact unit" at a research university or organization. This work will, aspirationally, streamline collaboration between researchers and legislators.


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Art Work

Icons made by Freepik, Smashicons, Ultimatearm, Pixel perfect, Icongeek26, Zlatko Najdenovski, Good Ware, Eucalyp, Vectors Market, DinosoftLabs from and illustrations adapted from Workstars