The Main Theme of the last issue for 1999 is devoted to the theme of "Problem-oriented Research". It is a theme which is discussed in many different areas of our society. "Problem-oriented Research" implies more than merely a methodological or research policy question: It involves the cultural nderstanding of science. The section includes contributions by Gotthard Bechmann, Helga Nowotny, Günther Frederichs, Klaus P. Japp, Armin Grunwald, Fritz Reusswig and Peter Weingart representing opposing views and deploying the many facets of the theme.
In the Institutions section of the newsletter two newly founded organisations are presented: the "International Academy for Sustainable Development and Technologies" in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the "Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung" (German Foundation for Peace Research) to be established by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The TA Projects section includes contributions on biotechnology in environmental protection, microsystems technology, robotics, electronic government, i.e. the utilization of IC technologies in the public sector, the costs of electricity generation from nuclear energy compared to non-nuclear forms of energy generation (a study by the French parliamentary TA bureau), and the presentation of the "Integrated Appraisal Methodology" developed by the European Commission whose objective is to allow mutual integration of competitiveness and environmental requirements into the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities. In addition, the issue contains reports on interesting conferences and workshops, some extensive book reviews as well as news from ITAS.