Genetic and evolutionary principles are of great importance to technology strategists, both directly (as in the forecasting of genetic engineering technologies) and as a source of metaphor and perspective on socio-technical change. Recent rapid progress in the molecular sciences have revealed new genetic mechanisms of evolution, and introduced new controversies of interpretation. How do these recent developments affect technology forecasting and our view of technological evolution? This paper provides a quick primer for TFSC readers on several new developments in evolution and genetics, comments upon a number of common misconceptions and pitfalls in evolutionary thinking, and critically describes some controversies and open questions, introducing key readings and sources. It relates genetic and evolutionary knowledge, analogies and metaphors to areas of interest to researchers in technology forecasting and assessment, noting possible future directions. The paper concludes with an overview of the other papers in this special section.
ASJC Scopus subject areas