Policymaking for emerging technology: the case of earthquake prediction

W. Henry Lambright, Jane A. Heckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


How does a nation formulate policy for a technology not yet quite "ready" but which may nevertheless have to be used? Earthquake prediction illustrates some of the policy issues relevant to this question. Earthquake prediction is a technology that is still in the research and development (R & D) stage. Yet predictions have been made and can be expected in the future. The question for policymakers is, are the predictions "ready enough" to use - do the risks of doing nothing in response to a scientific prediction exceed those of a false alarm? As earthquake prediction represents an emerging technology, it calls for a developing policy framework. What is the nature of "present" developing policy? How did this policy come to be? How adequate is it? What needs to be done? This article attempts to answer such questions, dealing primarily with U.S. policy, but also drawing on the experience of other nations, particularly Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalPolicy Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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