The main topic of the current issue is "Challenges and Perspectives of Microalgae Production". All contributions to this topic are in English. Biomass from algae are considered a promising resource for the production of biofuels, animal feed, food supplements, basic and fine chemicals. Algae could potentially even be cultivated in cooler regions (such as Scandinavia) and on a large scale. Unlike other renewable resources, algae production could reduce the dependence on arable land and, thus, reduce or eliminate competition with food production. The contributions to the main topic of issue 1/2012 of the Journal "Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis" (TATuP) show that there is large potential in this area, but that large-scale application, also of a new technology like this, cannot be implemented without causing new scarcities and side-effects.
Three research projects are presented under the heading "TA-Projekte": (1) Neue Wege für zukunftsfähige Infrastrukturen in schrumpfenden Regionen (New ways towards sustainable infrastructures in shrinking regions), (2) Einstellungen Karlsruher Bürger zum Stadtverkehr der Zukunft (Attitudes of the citizens of Karlsruhe to city traffic of the future) and (3) a presentation of a thesis on the subject "Technikfolgenabschätzung im Unterricht" (Technology assessment in class). In this issue, special mention should be made of the review of the book "Merchants of Doubt" by N. Oreskes and E.M. Convay, addressing the role of experts in the climate debate. As usual, this issue also includes conference reports as well as interesting news from ITAS, TAB, STOA, and the Network TA.
The publication of this TATuP issue was delayed for editorial reasons, and issue 2 will also be released later than usual this year. The working title of the main topic in issue 2 is “Science und/oder Technology Assesment? TA-Implikationen der komplexen Beziehung zwischen Wissenschaft und Technik” (Science and/or technology assessment? TA implications of the complex relationship between science and technology). It will be edited by Regine Kollek and Martin Döring (both BIOGUM Hamburg) and is scheduled for November. The main topic of issue 3 is about nuclear waste disposal and will be published, as usual, at the end of November / beginning of December. Various contributions in English or German language will be brought together under the title "Guaranteeing Transparency in Nuclear Waste Management: Monitoring as Social Innovation". The editors of the main topic will be Peter Hocke, Anne Bergmanns and Sophie Kuppler (ITAS and University of Antwerp).