OTA Reports Reissued as Smoking Guns Confirming Science Denying and Anti-Intellectualism in US Congress

Ethical Markets and Library Press @UF reprint OTA’s Assessment of Technology for Local Development from 1981 with new foreword, introduction and endorsements

ATLD UF reprint coverSt. Augustine, FL, March 14, 2016 ~ The 35th Anniversary of the report An Assessment of Technology for Local Development celebrates the perspicacity which US scientists and policy makers demonstrate, even if ignored. This U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) report from 1981, as vital today as when the research was compiled, helped launch the “Small is Beautiful” revolution in the USA. It describes energy-efficient and renewable energy sources being developed and implemented in communities across the United States by the early 1980s. The report is available as a free download at http://orangegrovetexts.org/AA00039302/00001/citation (hardcopy available for purchase).

Hazel Henderson, founder and president of Ethical Markets Media who served on OTA’s Technology Assessment Advisory Council, notes, “These OTA reports represent ‘smoking gun’ evidence that science-denying anti-intellectualism in the US Congress has deep roots.” Henderson’s new introduction is a behind the scenes look at the politics behind technology assessment which is still relevant in the 21st century as we shift from fossil fuels to the Solar Age. Her new introduction complements the original foreword by then OTA Director John H. Gibbons, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy director for the Clinton Administration, author of This Gifted Age: Science and Technology at the Millennium (1997).

Michaela Walsh, OTA Project Director for this report, in her new foreword, comments that the work the OTA conducted was “a search for ways to communicate the importance of careful choices for technology, including new and innovative options.”

OTA’s Assessment of Technology for Local Development is still a vital roadmap for democratizing growing local economies, producing clean food and energy locally, creating healthy local environments, reducing waste. “It’s as relevant today as the day it was first published,” says Robert Olson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Alternative Futures.

The OTA, founded in 1972, examined and anticipated the social and environmental impacts of new technologies, providing Congress with objective, informed analyses of technical innovations affecting society. The OTA, still authorized by Congress, incurred the wrath of special interests and incumbent industries, so was disbanded in 1996. An important tool for today’s investors, students, entrepreneurs, and policymakers, this report is the first in a series of key OTA reports to be republished by Ethical Markets Media and the Library Press @ UF, an imprint of the University of Florida Press.

“Brilliant efforts at the OTA to push for public participation in science and technology policy inspired me to carry the ball forward into citizen science. These OTA reports arm local communities with the history, data and context needed to more fully participate in local science and technology assessments,” says Darlene Cavalier, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University.

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