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Selection: with tag technocracy [28 articles] 


Discounting... on stilts

The University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 74, No. 1. (2007), pp. 119-138


[Excerpt] Jeremy Bentham famously described the concept of natural rights as “nonsense upon stilts.” This Response argues that cost-benefit analysis (CBA)—a contemporary applied version of Bentham’s utilitarianism for public policy analysis—is also nonsensical in that CBA purports to resolve questions, the answers to which have already been subsumed within the framework’s architecture. In particular, CBA subsumes vital questions of intergenerational equity through its use of an exponential discount factor to adjust future costs and benefits to a present value. This discounting procedure has the practical effect of dramatically diminishing the apparent ...


The limits of cost/benefit analysis when disasters loom

Global Policy, Vol. 7 (May 2016), pp. 56-66,


[Abstract] Advances in estimating the costs and benefits of climate change policies are a welcome development, but a full-scale cost/benefit analysis that seeks to reduce complex value trade-offs to a single metric of net benefit maximization hides many important public policy issues, especially for disasters and catastrophes that are large, discontinuous, irreversible and uncertain. States should obtain public input on such policies. These policies involve value trade-offs that can be informed by technocratic estimates of costs, benefits and risk. However, such analyses ...


The science of value: economic expertise and the valuation of human life in US federal regulatory agencies

Social Studies of Science, Vol. 47, No. 4. (21 March 2017), pp. 441-465,


This article explores efforts to apply economic logic to human life. To do so, it looks at federal regulatory agencies, where government planners and policy makers have spent over a century trying to devise a scientifically sound way to measure the economic value of lives lost or saved by public programs. The methods they have drawn on, however, have changed drastically in the past 40 years, shifting from a ‘human capital’ approach based on models of economic productivity and producing relatively low ...


The real cost of energy

Nature, Vol. 553, No. 7682. (2017), pp. S145-S147,


All energy production has environmental and societal effects. But calculating them — and pricing energy accordingly — is no easy task. [Excerpt] [...] Electricity production is rife with externalities. Mining for raw materials often causes water pollution, habitat destruction and socio-economic harm. Burning coal pollutes the air, sickening and killing people, and introduces toxic mercury into the aquatic food chain. Nuclear-power plants require the clean-up and maintenance of radioactive materials after decommissioning. Energy production uses water, sometimes at the expense of agriculture and ...


Impact of population growth and population ethics on climate change mitigation policy

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 46. (14 November 2017), pp. 12338-12343,


[Significance] We investigate how future population growth is relevant to climate change policy. The answer depends importantly on ethical questions about whether our ultimate goal should be to increase the number of people who are happy or rather to increase the average level of people’s happiness. We calculate the best (optimal) emissions reduction pathway given each of these two different goals that society might have and calculate how much cheaper it would be to avoid dangerous interference with the climate given a ...


How population growth relates to climate change

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 46. (14 November 2017), pp. 12103-12105,


[Excerpt] Currently, around 7.5 billion people live on our planet and scenarios for the future show a plausible range from 8.5 to over 12 billion before the population will level off or start to decline, depending on the future course of fertility and mortality (1, 2). These people will also have to cope with the consequences of climate change that may be in the range of 1.5 °C to more than 3 °C, depending on the scale of mitigation efforts. The ...


Post-normal institutional identities: quality assurance, reflexivity and ethos of care



[Highlights] [::] Given the current crises of legitimacy and quality in mainstream science, institutions that produce and govern science and those that provide scientific advice to policy need to change their modus operandis; we advocate for an ethos of care. [::] Post-normal science and other frameworks of scientific knowledge production may inspire trustfulness in institutions that provide scientific advice to policy. [::] In Europe, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has the necessary scaffolding to advise policy in view of public interest, ...


To slow or not? Challenges in subsecond networks

Science, Vol. 355, No. 6327. (23 February 2017), pp. 801-802,


[Excerpt] [...] today's electronic exchanges are an all-machine playing field with extreme subsecond operating times that lie far beyond the ∼1-s real-time response and intervention of any human. High-speed algorithms now receive, process, and respond to information on the scale of microseconds, and the only guaranteed future speed barrier is the speed of light. Hundreds of orders are executed across multiple exchange nodes within 1 ms (millisecond). [...] The need to develop a systems-level understanding concerning regulation in subsecond networks, is ...


The tragedy of the commons

Science, Vol. 162, No. 3859. (13 December 1968), pp. 1243-1248,


The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality. [Excerpt] [...] A technical solution may be defined as one that requires a change only in the techniques of the natural sciences, demanding little or nothing in the way of change in human values or ideas of morality. In our day (though not in earlier times) technical solutions are always welcome. Because of previous failures in prophecy, it takes courage to assert that a desired technical solution is ...


Welcome to postnormal times

Futures, Vol. 42, No. 5. (20 June 2010), pp. 435-444,


All that was ‘normal’ has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in-between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense. To have any notion of a viable future, we must grasp the significance of this period of transition which is characterised by three c's: complexity, chaos and contradictions. These forces propel and sustain postnormal times leading to uncertainty and different types of ignorance that make decision-making problematic and increase risks ...


The development of environmental thinking in economics

Environmental Values, Vol. 8, No. 4. (November 1999), pp. 413-435,


There has always been a sub-group of established economists trying to convey an environmental critique of the mainstream. This paper traces their thinking into the late 20th century via the development of associations and journals in the USA and Europe. There is clearly a divergence between the conformity to neo-classical economics favoured by resource and environmental economists and the acceptance of more radical critiques apparent in ecological economics. Thus, the progressive elements of ecological economics are increasingly incompatible with those practising ...


Encourage governments to heed scientific advice

Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7622. (28 September 2016), pp. 587-587,


To stop evidence-based policy losing its clout, researchers need to engage with policymakers and understand their needs, says Bill Colglazier. [Excerpt] [...] Most governments do want to consider and harness science, technology and innovation. [...] Why, then, is science losing its clout in the current political debates? In my view, the explanation is relatively simple. In the short term, politics, or more precisely value judgements, trump science. This is especially true when there are scientific uncertainties. [\n] Value judgements come in three varieties. ...


(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 35

(February 2014)
Keywords: inrmm-list-of-tags   supply-chain   support-vector-machines   supporting-services   surface-roughness   surprise   survey   survival   susceptibility   sustainability   sustainable-development   sustainable-forest   sustainable-forest-management   sustainable-forestry   sweden   swietenia-macrophylla   swiss   switzerland   syagrus-romanzoffiana   sycamore   symbiosis   symphoricarpos-albus   symphoricarpos-spp   symphytum-tauricum   symptoms   synergy   synonyms   syntax-vs-semantics   syntaxonomy   system   system-catastrophe   system-dynamics   system-engineering   system-of-systems   system-theory   systematics   syzygium-aromaticum   syzygium-cumini   tabebuia-chrysantha   tabebuia-heterophylla   tamarindus-indica   tamarix-canariensis   tamarix-chinensis   tamarix-kotschyi   tamarix-mascatensis   tamarix-nilotica   tamarix-octandra   tamarix-parviflora   tamarix-ramosissima   tamarix-spp   tamarix-tetragyna   tamarix-tetrandra   taper-curve   taphrorychus-bicolor   tasmania   taxa   taxine   taxodium-distichum   taxodium-mucronatum   taxodium-spp   taxol   taxon-specific-parameters   taxonomy   taxus-baccata   taxus-brevifolia   taxus-spp   team-diversity   technocracy   technology   technology-mediated-communication   tecoma-stans   tectona-grandis   tectonic   temperate-climate   temperate-continental-forest   temperate-europe   temperate-forest   temperate-mountain-system   temperate-trees   temperature   temperature-change   temperature-range   tensile-root-strength   terminalia-catappa   terminalia-superba   terminology   terpenes   terra-modis   terrain-ruggedness-index   terrestrial-earth-surface   terrestrial-lidar   terseness   tertiary   tetraclinis-articulata   tetraclinis-salicornioides   tetropium-castaneum   text-editors   thailand   thanasimus-formicarius   thaumetopoea-pityocampa  


List of indexed keywords within the transdisciplinary set of domains which relate to the Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management (INRMM). In particular, the list of keywords maps the semantic tags in the INRMM Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD). [\n] The INRMM-MiD records providing this list are accessible by the special tag: inrmm-list-of-tags ( ). ...


The true loss caused by biodiversity offsets

Biological Conservation, Vol. 192 (December 2015), pp. 552-559,


Biodiversity offsets aim to achieve a “no-net-loss” of biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services due to development. The “no-net-less” objective assumes that the multi-dimensional values of biodiversity in complex ecosystems can be isolated from their spatial, evolutionary, historical, social, and moral context. We examine the irreplaceability of ecosystems, the limits of restoration, and the environmental values that claim to be compensated through ecosystem restoration. We discuss multiple ecological, instrumental, and non-instrumental values of ecosystems that should be considered in offsetting calculations. Considering ...


Impact, not impact factor

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 26. (30 June 2015), pp. 7875-7876,


[Excerpt] When the English philosopher Herbert Spencer introduced the phrase “survival of the fittest” in 1864, he could not have imagined that it would summarize the plight of young scientists years later (1). As competition for coveted faculty appointments and research funding continues to intensify, today’s researchers face relentless pressure to publish in scientific journals with high impact factors. But only a few decades ago, when I began my scientific career as a virologist in the 1970s, the common outlets in ...


Using and improving the social cost of carbon

Science, Vol. 346, No. 6214. (05 December 2014), pp. 1189-1190,


The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a crucial tool for economic analysis of climate policies. The SCC estimates the dollar value of reduced climate change damages associated with a one-metric-ton reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although the conceptual basis, challenges, and merits of the SCC are well established, its use in government cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is relatively new. In light of challenges in constructing the SCC, its newness in government regulation, and the importance of updating, we propose an ...


The question concerning technology, and other essays



[Excerpt] Modern man as scientist, through the prescribed procedures of experiment, inquires of nature to learn more and more about it. But in so doing he does not relate himself to nature as the Greek related himself to the multitudinous presencing of everything that met him spontaneously at every turn. He does not relate to nature in the openness of immediate response. For the scientist's "nature" is in fact, Heidegger says, a human construction. Science strikingly manifests the way in which modern man as subject represents reality. The modern ...


Embedded value systems in sustainability assessment tools and their implications

Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 91, No. 8. (22 August 2010), pp. 1613-1622,


This paper explores the implications that arise with the selection of specific sustainability evaluation tools. Sustainability evaluation tools are conceptualized in this paper as value articulating institutions and as such their choice is a far from a trivial matter. In fact their choice can entail various ethical and practical repercussions. However, in most cases the choice of the evaluation tool is made by the analyst(s) without taking into consideration the values of the affected stakeholders. By choosing the analytical tool the ...


What it takes

Science, Vol. 344, No. 6190. (20 June 2014), pp. 1422-1422,


[Excerpt] Not long ago, Science Careers posted a widget—you can find it at—that lets early-career scientists calculate the probability that they'll someday become principal investigators (PIs), on the basis of a few standard publication metrics. [...] The Science Careers widget is less accurate than the full-bore model, but it has the virtue of focusing attention on a handful of the most important parameters. [...] 1. Be male. The widget's probability plot displays two lines: red for women and blue for ...


Pricing the priceless: cost-benefit analysis of environmental protection

University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 150, No. 5. (May 2002), pp. 1553-1584,


[Introduction] Many analytical approaches to setting environmental standards require some consideration of costs and benefits. Even technology- based regulation, maligned by cost-benefit enthusiasts as the worst form of regulatory excess, typically entails consideration of economic costs. Cost-benefit analysis differs, however, from other analytical approaches in the following respect: it demands that the advantages and disadvantages of a regulatory policy be reduced, as far as possible, to numbers, and then further reduced to dollars and cents. In this feature of cost-benefit analysis ...


The economic value of human life

American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, Vol. 57, No. 11. (November 1967), pp. 1954-1966,


To establish the economic value of a human life, lifetime earnings discounted at a 4 per cent rate are presented by age, sex, color, and education. These estimates are intended for use by economists, program planners, and others. Various specific findings are reported. ...


Determining benefits and costs for future generations

Science, Vol. 341, No. 6144. (26 July 2013), pp. 349-350,


In economic project analysis, the rate at which future benefits and costs are discounted relative to current values often determines whether a project passes the benefit-cost test. This is especially true of projects with long time horizons, such as those to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether the benefits of climate policies, which can last for centuries, outweigh the costs, many of which are borne today, is especially sensitive to the rate at which future benefits are discounted. This is also ...


A multi-criteria approach for an integrated land-cover-based assessment of ecosystem services provision to support landscape planning

Ecological Indicators, Vol. 21 (October 2012), pp. 54-66,


The article presents a multicriteria assessment framework for the qualitative estimation of regional potentials to provide ecosystem services as a prerequisite to support regional development planning. We applied this approach to a model region in Saxony, Eastern Germany. For the estimation of the potentials of the model region to provide ecosystem services, we used a modified approach compared to the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). We then employed a benefit transfer and a purely expert driven approach to assess contribution of the ...


Some pitfalls of an overemphasis on science in environmental risk management decisions

Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 9, No. 7. (1 October 2006), pp. 717-735,


This paper addresses the question whether calls for "more" and "better" science will have the intended effect of improving the quality of decisions about environmental risks. There are reasons to be skeptical: key judgment tasks that fundamentally shape many aspects of decisions about environmental risk management lie outside the domain of science. These tasks include making value judgments explicit, integrating facts and values to create innovative alternatives, and constructively addressing conflicts about uncertainty. To bring new specificity to an old debate, ...


Three paradigms of computer science

Minds and Machines, Vol. 17, No. 2. (1 July 2007), pp. 135-167,


We examine the philosophical disputes among computer scientists concerning methodological, ontological, and epistemological questions: Is computer science a branch of mathematics, an engineering discipline, or a natural science? Should knowledge about the behaviour of programs proceed deductively or empirically? Are computer programs on a par with mathematical objects, with mere data, or with mental processes? We conclude that distinct positions taken in regard to these questions emanate from distinct sets of received beliefs or paradigms within the discipline: – The rationalist ...


Democracy and sustainable development - What is the alternative to cost-benefit analysis?

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Vol. 2, No. 2. (April 2006), pp. 182-190,


Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is part of neoclassical economics, a specific paradigm, or theoretical perspective. In searching for alternatives to CBA, competing theoretical frameworks in economics appear to be a natural starting point. Positional analysis (PA) as an alternative to CBA is built on institutional theory and a different set of assumptions about human beings, organizations, markets, etc. Sustainable development (SD) is a multidimensional concept that includes social and ecological dimensions in addition to monetary aspects. If the political commitment to SD ...


Sustainable Capital? The Neoliberalization of Nature and Knowledge in the European “Knowledge-based Bio-economy”

Sustainability, Vol. 2, No. 9. (13 September 2010), pp. 2898-2918,


As an EU policy agenda, the “knowledge-based bio-economy” (KBBE) emphasizes bio-technoscience as the means to reconcile environmental and economic sustainability. This frames the sustainability problem as an inefficiency to be overcome through a techno-knowledge fix. Here ecological sustainability means a benign eco-efficient productivity using resources which are renewable, reproducible and therefore sustainable. The KBBE narrative has been elaborated by European Technology Platforms in the agri-food-forestry-biofuels sectors, whose proposals shape research priorities. These inform policy agendas for the neoliberalization of both nature ...


Toward a different debate in environmental accounting: the cases of carbon and cost–benefit

Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 34, No. 3-4. (April 2009), pp. 499-534,


Many champions of environmental accounting suggest that calculating and internalizing ‘externalities’ is the solution to environmental problems. Many critics of neoliberalism counter that the spread of market-like calculations into ‘non-market’ spheres, is, on the contrary, itself at the root of such problems. This article proposes setting aside this debate and instead closely examining the concrete conflicts, contradictions and resistances engendered by environmental accounting techniques and the perpetually incomplete efforts of accountants and their allies to overcome them. In particular, it explores ...

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Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD).
This database integrates a dedicated meta-information database in CiteULike (the CiteULike INRMM Group) with the meta-information available in Google Scholar, CrossRef and DataCite. The Altmetric database with Article-Level Metrics is also harvested. Part of the provided semantic content (machine-readable) is made even human-readable thanks to the DCMI Dublin Core viewer. Digital preservation of the meta-information indexed within the INRMM-MiD publication records is implemented thanks to the Internet Archive.
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Full-text and abstracts of the publications indexed by the INRMM meta-information database are copyrighted by the respective publishers/authors. They are subject to all applicable copyright protection. The conditions of use of each indexed publication is defined by its copyright owner. Please, be aware that the indexed meta-information entirely relies on voluntary work and constitutes a quite incomplete and not homogeneous work-in-progress.
INRMM-MiD was experimentally established by the Maieutike Research Initiative in 2008 and then improved with the help of several volunteers (with a major technical upgrade in 2011). This new integrated interface is operational since 2014.