International Energy Policy and the Globalisation of Research: the Example of Fusion Research

  • Project team:

    Lessmann, Eckhard (Project leader); Gotthard Bechmann; Fritz Gloede

  • Funding:

    European Commission

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Research Centre Karlsruhe) - EURATOM Association; Research Policy Group (RPG), Linköping University, Sweden

  • Research group:

    Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

ITAS is involved through this project in the program "Socio-economic Research on Fusion" (SERF 2) in the Macro-Task 4 "Politics and Mega-Science: the Global Scale of Fusion".

Research into and technical development of fusion is embedded in a complex field of socio-economic development. This applies not only to the technical design and scientific planning, but also to the social institutions involved in its introduction. In the general public, such projects are debated in terms of the governance of large technological systems and viable energy supply.

Following the work in the program SERF 1 (1997-1998) carried out jointly with Prof. Ingelstam (Linkoping University, Sweden), two groups of issues are being covered in the research project:

  • What contributions can fusion make towards a "sustainable energy and research policy" which is starting to establish itself at national and international levels with the principles of efficiency and resource conservation?
  • Fusion as a project which can only be carried out internationally is an expression of the globalization of research at the organizational level. Objects for study are:
    a) how forms of communication between the "scientific community" and the associated publics emerge and relate to each other
    b) how new forms of cooperation and organization of research processes develop in which scientific (basic) research and technological development merge in a project


Book Chapters
Bechmann, G.
The rise and crisis of scientific expertise
2003. Bechmann, G. [Hrsg.] Expertise and its Interfaces : The Tense Relationship of Science and Politics Berlin : Ed.Sigma, 2003 (Gesellschaft - Technik - Umwelt ; N.F.4), 17–33 
Journal Articles
Journal Articles
Leßmann, E.
Evaluation des Fusions-Programms der Europäischen Gemeinschaft
1997. Technikfolgenabschätzung, Theorie und Praxis, 6 (3-4), 65–66. doi:10.14512/tatup.6.3-4.65


Dr. Eckhard Lessmann
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe