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Explaining the Future

How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies

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Will this new technology work to solve the problem its inventors claim it will? Is it likely to succeed? What is the right technical solution for a particular problem? Can we narrow down the options before we invest on development? How do we persuade our colleagues, investors, clients, or readers of our technical reasoning? Whether you're a researcher, a consultant, a venture capitalist, or a technology officer, you may need to be able to answer these questions systematically and with clarity. Most people learn these skills through years of experience. However, they are so basic to a high-level technical career that they should be made explicit and learned up front. This book will provide you with the tools you need to think through how to match new (and old) technologies, materials, and processes with applications. It starts with key questions to ask, goes through the resources you'll need to answer them, and helps you think through who is most (and least) likely to deserve your trust. Next, it talks you through analyzing the information you've gathered in a systematic way. The book includes chapters on audience (and how to tailor your explanation to them), how to make a persuasive and structured technical argument, and how to write this up in a way that is credible and easy to follow. Finally, the book includes a case study: a real worked example that goes from an idea through the twists and turns of the research and analysis process to a final report.

Product code: 9780198822820

ISBN 9780198822820
Guides scientists, engineers and inventors on how to persuade the world that their work will have value, and that they have chosen the right solution for a given problem. Includes key questions to ask, goes through the resources to answer them, and discusses credibility of sources. Also offers a guide to writing technical explanations.