Explaining the Future: How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies

ISBN : 9780198822820

Sunny Bains
224 ページ
138 x 216 mm
  • Unique guide to technical analysis
  • Offers formula for making a persuasive technical argument
  • Explains logic and psychology behind technical arguments
  • Companion website includes further case studies, downloadable canvases, templates and check sheets for writing presentations and documents

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 in 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. 
Bains provides 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.


1: Key Questions
2: Finding answers
3: Perspectives and Agendas
4: Analyze
Case Study Part I: Research and Analysis
5: Audience and Explanation
6: Technical Argument and Structure
7: Credibility
Case Study Part II: Report


Sunny Bains is a scientist and journalist in the Faculty of Engineering, University College London where she teaches research, analysis, and communication skills to science, engineering and technical journalism students. She received the UCL Provosts Teaching Award in 2016. Bains is also Editorial Director of Engineering Inspiration <http://engins.org>, a customizeable news site that brings together the best news articles from across science and technology. She started her journalism career as a physics undergraduate at Imperial College London, where she founded a magazine about holographic technology (Holographics International). Over the next two decades she wrote hundreds of articles for magazines such as The EconomistScienceNew ScientistWiredElectronic Engineering Times, and Laser Focus World, covering topics related to optics and photonics, machine intelligence and AI, emerging computing technologies, imaging, and displays.