• What are the appropriate time templates to use for technology-driven innovation?


Final Thoughts/Discussion

Dava Newman



Tuesday, February 24


8:15 am

Welcome Back

Darrell Branscome


Focus Topic 3: “Risk Aversion—Flying in the Face of Uncertainty”

Moderator: Molly Macauley Panel Discussion

Gen. John Barry, CAIB viewpoint

Joseph Fuller, Futron Corporation

Gregg Hagedorn, NAVSEA

Allan Mazur, Syracuse University

Richard Obermann, Staff Member, House Science Committee

Michael G. Stamatelatos, NASA Director for Safety & Assurance Requirements

Focusing Questions:

  • What lessons might be shared about differences in risk perception by the public, the Congress, and the agency (NASA)? How are perceptions influenced by risks that are low probability but high cost?

  • The NASA model under discussion (ASTRA) omits explicit treatment of risk. Risk can be defined in many ways—it can, for example; include economic, technological, and political uncertainty—but no matter how it is defined, the model does not explicitly include it. Specifically, the model does not (1) incorporate the consequences of failure to meet milestones, (2) identify decision points at which technology development might be terminated because of cost, engineering problems, or obsolescence, (3) illustrate the cost impacts of failure or redirection of technology development, or (4) include fallback strategies. What modeling techniques might you suggest that would enable the model to incorporate probabilistic treatment yet remain tractable?

  • Among the arguments against including probabilistic treatment in the model are that it renders the model more difficult for decision makers to comprehend and can undermine the political ability to sell the technologies. How significant are these concerns and how can they be

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