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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

TRUST: Tracing Risk and Uncertainty in Security Technology

This research maps and analyses how new security technologies are developed in practice through inter-disciplinary collaborative research between social scientists and engineers. It will contribute to cross-disciplinary and applied knowledge about the drivers and challenges of science and technology in relation to defence and security needs. It studies the HANDHOLD project (an integrated portable Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive detection device) that involves nine partners including engineering companies, academics, and end-users from five EU countries.

This project explores how these different contexts affect the management of risk and uncertainty in the development of security technologies. It examines how different understandings of risk and security interact in processes of technology development, how risks and uncertainties are negotiated and managed, and how the risk of failure and the security context shape the complex creative enterprise of technology development. The methods employed include analysis of key documents; observation of scientists and engineers in action, and interviews with key participants in different agencies.

The research will produce a number of reports and workshops for government and other stakeholders as well as high quality academic publications. It will offer important lessons for technology development, implementation, and policy making, as well as for academic knowledge.