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ITAS-Journal "Technikfolgenabschätzung - Theorie und Praxis" (Technology Assessment - Theory and Practice), issue 1/2003, with the focal theme "Evaluation of Research", online available [09.04.2003]


The focal theme of the first issue of the year 2003 is devoted to a topic currently of great interest at present in Germany: "Evaluation of Research". The introductory article by Stefan Kuhlmann, ISI Karlsruhe, presents a short description of the main development lines of governmental research and innovation funding and an overview of the main concepts, application areas and methods of evaluative procedures and their use in the process of political decision making. An "actor and process-oriented" evaluation approach is presented which meets with growing interest in research and innovation policy in Europe. The following contribution by Anthony F. J. van Raan, University of Leiden (Netherlands) offers an overview of the application of bibliometric methods for research performance assessment and monitoring of interdisciplinary scientific developments. Walter Grossenbacher-Mansuy, Sergio Bellucci (TA-SWISS) and Sami Kanaan (Evaluanda, Geneva) present content, purpose and method of the evaluation of the Swiss Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS in 2002, which included as an important aspect a self-evaluation by TA-SWISS.

The following contributions constitute the main point of reference for the focal theme: Reinhard Hüttl presents the evaluation approach of the German Science Council, which advises the State and the Länder on questions concerning science policy. Jochen Luhmann and Thomas Langrock give a critical assessment of the evaluation of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy by the Science Council, and contrast it with their own recommendations. The following three articles are reports about the experiences made in the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (HGF) with regard to the introduction of the new instrument "Programme-oriented Research Funding: Manfred Popp, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Research Center Karlsruhe, reports on the first experiences with the new instrument; Henning Möller, head of the division for planning, external relationships and quality control of the Research Center Karlsruhe, gives an overview of the history of research steering and performance assessment in the Research Center Karlsruhe; Susanne Schultz-Hector, National Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF) presents the main results and conclusions of the evaluation of the Helmholtz research area "Health". The final contribution to the focal theme comes from a newly established research area in social-ecological research which aims at elaborating indicators for a discursive evaluation of transdisciplinary research (Matthias Bergmann, ISOE Frankfurt).

In the TA Projects segment of the journal the results of three recently concluded ITAS projects are presented: Energy from biomass residues and wastes; Analysis of the environmental effects of the production, use and disposal of CFRP or resp., aluminium components in aeroplane construction; and third, the results of a media analysis of the conflict about the final storage of radioactive waste on the example of the Working Group on selection criteria for final storage sites (AkEnd) of the Federal Ministry of the Environment. In addition, a project of the Rathenau Institute, i.e. the parliamentary TA office of the Netherlands, discusses questions and dilemma of the use of "Genomics in the agrofood sector"; the TA-Academy of Baden-Württemberg describes the approach and the results of a project on scenarios for a liberalised electricity supply integrating a special discursive method for setting up possible scenarios for the German electricity market in 2010; a contribution by the Center for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS, Bern, summarises the main results of a study on the application of information technology in transport (transport telematics).

In the Book Reviews section, a.o. two publications on sustainable development are presented, a further review deals with problems of the integrative modelling of Global Change.

The Conference Reports feature the following themes: Demographic change in the economy and society; Popularisation of technology - from expert knowledge to technical everyday knowledge; "Regional Cycles: Regional Economy towards Sustainability", and a report about the interdisciplinary colloquium on Technology WORLD Culture - Technical Civilisation and cultural identities in the age of globalisation, which was organissed by the Forum Technology and Society of the University of Aachen.

The ITAS-News and the TAB-News contain the usual information on (new) projects, publications and events of ITAS and TAB.

As an appendix to this issue, the publications and conference papers of ITAS in 2002 are listed.

  • To contents of issue 1 / 2003 of "Technikfolgenabschätzung - Theorie und Praxis" here