Title: Problems associated with the acceptance of new technologies in industrialized societies
Author: Albert Kuhlmann
Address: President, TUV Rheinland, Postfach 10 17 50, 5000 Koln 1, West Germany
Abstract: It is a part of man's nature to devise technical aids to survival. Prior to the modern era, the development of technology was impeded by artisans and guilds. Following the victory of the revolutionary concepts of the Enlightenment, the avalanche of technological innovations steadily increased and accelerated. It overwhelmed the objections which were soon raised against technical progress – namely the loss of beauty due to the uniformity of nature and culture, the danger of accidents and environmental pollution, as well as lost jobs and the downgrading of the human contribution. In the recent past, however, hostility towards technology has become apparent in some advanced countries, pointing towards a change of attitude. In particular, the social psychological role played by anxiety must be discussed in this context. In such a situation we must do two things: we must improve the quality of debate, and we must have a clear picture of our ethical position with regard to modern technology. Some proposals are made in this respect.
Keywords: technical progress; economic progress; technology acceptance; technology criticism; technology rejection; environmental problems; job problems; work-related problems; anxiety; opinion makers; criminal mis-information; risk level regulation; acceptable risk levels; technological innovation.
Int. J. of Technology Management, 1987 Vol.2, No.2, pp.209 - 217
Available online: 27 May 2009