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By Frank N. Laird

Power rules impact the form of emergent technological platforms, and likewise our social, political, and monetary lives. This publication demonstrates the problems of considering such homes by means of supplying a old case learn that analyzes U.S. renewable strength coverage from the tip of worldwide conflict II during the power obstacle of the Nineteen Seventies. It illuminates the methods ideals and values come to dominate reputable challenge frames and get entrenched in associations.

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IMPORTANCE OF THE CASE The broad importance of energy to all aspects of life in industrial societies needs little discussion. Energy is part of every major technological activity, from agriculture and manufacturing to transportation and telecommunications. S. 30 The government has been and continues to be involved in the research and planning for future energy resources. 31 The Cold War influence went beyond picking R&D priorities. As Stuart W. 32 Such planning for the future seemed an immediate and pressing matter during most of the 1970s.

11 A Federal Council for Science and Technology study of natural resource R&D during the Kennedy administration listed oil shale as part Creating Policy for the Future 37 of the country’s estimated reserves of fossil fuels, but said almost nothing else about it. The council said nothing about synthetic fuels from coal. 1 million in the same period. 12 These different policies were grounded in different policy narratives. S. petroleum stocks were dangerously low – only ten years’ worth of proved reserves and maybe another thirty years’ worth assuming new discoveries – and that America was taking a big risk by depending on oil imports from the Middle East.

In this case, most authoritative actors have a mutually shared understanding of the problem, making it well defined, although that understanding might change over time. The uncertainty lies in the technology itself, since it may take any of several different forms in its development. An example would be biomedical R&D, such as that focused on cancer. Cancer comprises a current problem, with a widely shared set of ideas about it and well-established sets of institutions and interests involved in its diagnosis, treatment, R&D, and so on.

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