What guidance can the social and behavioral sciences give federal policymakers to increase the benefits and reduce the costs to society of technological innovations? Jane E. Fountain, Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst, recently joined fellow experts in science and technology policy to address this question in a White Paper for the White House team on Social and Behavioral Science.
Professor Fountain was invited to write the White Paper as a member of Technology and Innovation Group at the Behavioral Science and Policy Association, a global community of behavioral science researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners whose mission is to promote the application of rigorous behavioral science research to concrete policy solutions that serve the public interest.
The paper frames key issues arising from technological innovation in arenas as diverse as manufacturing, health care, and information policy, and offers insights and recommendations for public policy rooted in solid social science research. In particular, the authors point to studies on the distributional challenges that technological innovation raise for employment and social security, and suggest measures that will help the government in playing its key historical role in enabling and constraining the development and implementation of technological innovations. The White Paper will appear as an article in the December 2016 issue of Behavioral Science & Policy, the Association's peer-reviewed journal.