"Science and/or Technology Assessment" is the main topic of the current issue. Under this heading, the guest editors Regine Kollek and Martin Döring (both BIOGUM Hamburg) ask how an evaluation and assessment of the impacts of recent technological developments in systems biology and synthetic biology should look like in order to deal with the convergence of scientific and technological activities. What conclusions can be drawn for the timing of TA? The spectrum of contributions in this issue ranges from a plea for a "hermeneutical TA" through to "TA implications of conceptual innovations in the life sciences" and systems biology as "technoscience".
The "discussion forum" of this issue is dedicated to energy research in two articles: Rolf Meyer and Ludwig Leible (both ITAS) criticize the recommendations on the use of bioenergy published this summer by the National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina. Jurgen Ganzevles and Rinie van Est of the Rathenau Institute, The Hague, take a look at the Dutch energy debate with its particular myths and misconceptions.
The current issue also presents the South Korean TA institution KISTEP as well as three TA projects. As usual, the issue features conference reports, reviews, and news from ITAS, TAB, STOA and the Network TA.