Technology Assessment in the U.S. State Legislatures

David H. Guston, Megan Jones, Lewis M. Branscomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


With the demise of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and reassertion of state roles in R&D, the future of legislative technology assessment in the United States may indeed reside in the states. This article reviews the history of science and technology advice to state legislatures and, based on a survey of 50 states and field work including 185 interviews in 11 states, describes the status of the provision of technical information and analysis to state legislatures by legislative staff, committees, and inter-branch and inter-sectoral organizations. The article argues that these sources perform a thin form of technology assessment for state legislatures. It concludes by recommending ways in which state legislatures might enhance their performance by adopting a more self-conscious attitude toward their technology assessment role, by expanding participation, and looking to European technology assessment organizations as models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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