US professors visit ITAS

Two TA experts from Washington DC and Berkeley are looking for an exchange of ideas with colleagues in Karlsruhe. The focus of their joint workshops and discussions is on socio-technical systems in the energy sector.
Visiting ITAS: The TA experts Todd R. La Porte from Berkeley (l.) and his son Todd M. La Porte from George Mason University.

The German energy turnaround is marking a historically unique period of technological reorientation. ITAS is accompanying this process that affects society as a whole in numerous projects. One of them is "Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS", which understands our energy infrastructure as a socio-technical system and investigates strategies for a socially acceptable and efficient energy transition.

In this context ITAS is now looking for an exchange of ideas with two internationally renowned experts in the field of organizational research, scientific policy advice, and technology assessment: Todd R. La Porte, emeritus professor at the Department for Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and Todd M. La Porte, Assistant Professor at the George Mason University, Arlington/Virginia. Todd R. La Porte has for many years been studying key areas of technology assessment like "nuclear waste management" and "high reliability organization theory" and provides advice to policymakers. His son is, among others, an expert in the fields of "networked society", "large technical systems", and "public organization and institutional change".

Both scientists are staying at ITAS for four weeks, starting mid-October. Apart from lectures at the institute and scientific discussions with project teams, the workshop on "Understanding socio-technical problems" with other international visitors is also on the professors’ agenda.

"Our working group and the whole ITAS are looking forward to benefiting from the vast sociological expertise of our guests and their experience in policy advice", says Christian Büscher from ITAS who initiated the visit of the two US scientists together with his colleague Patrick Sumpf. (20.10.2015)

Further links