Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Societal transformations: Subject of TA?

Energy transition, autonomous driving, and the transformation of agricultural systems change our society. Researchers reflect on the role of TA in analyzing and shaping these far-reaching transformations in the recently published conference proceedings.
Gesellschaftliche Transformationen Thema der TA
Source: Nomos

Transformations are multidimensional, they cross sectors, and occur with long time horizons – characteristics that make a consideration from the perspective of technology assessment seem particularly valuable. So this was done at the 8th international Conference of the Technology Assessment Network NTA in November 2018 in Karlsruhe.

Now the accompanying conference proceedings „Gesellschaftliche Transformationen: Gegenstand oder Aufgabe der Technikfolgenabschätzung?“ (Societal Transformations: Research Objects or Mission of Technology Assessment?) have been published. Constanze Scherz, deputy head of ITAS, is one of the co-editors.

Far-reaching societal impacts

The authors deal with the concept of transformation and look at the uncertainties and impacts caused by fundamental changes. Again and again, the focus is on the question whether transformations should only be the subject or also the task of TA. According to the editors, TA plays a “dual role” here by generating orientation knowledge about the opportunities, risks, and consequences of change on the one hand and reflecting on societal acceptance and socio-technical developments on the other hand.

ITAS researchers examine transformation processes

The publication includes numerous contributions from ITAS researchers. The head of ITAS, Armin Grunwald, investigates the question of how transformative technology assessment can, may, or should be. Oliver Parodi comments on the relationship of TA to technology and transformation. Other contributions by ITAS members focus on the site selection process for a German repository (Sophie Kuppler, Peter Hocke), assistive technologies for people with disabilities (Linda Nierling and Maria Maia), or the strategic importance of raw materials for electromobility (Maryegli Fuss, Witold-Roger Poganietz). (05.02.2021)

Bibliographic data:

Lindner, R.; Decker, M., Ehrensberger, E.; Heyen, N.; Lingner, S.; Scherz, C.; Sotoudeh, M. (Hrsg.)
Gesellschaftliche Transformationen. Gegenstand oder Aufgabe der Technikfolgenabschätzung? Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, 2021, 428 S., ISBN: 978-3-8487-6035-0
(Gesellschaft - Technik - Umwelt)
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