New TATuP issue on “Democracy and Technology Assessment”
A close connection to democratic societies has always been a characteristic of technology assessment. So how should TA deal with the current crisis of democracy? The authors of the current TATuP are looking for answers.
Technology assessment emerged in the USA over 50 years ago with the aim of supporting democratic opinion formation and decision making. Although no longer being institutionally anchored there, TA has been able to continuously develop and diversify in Western democratic societies ever since. For some years now, however, this model has been confronted with considerable challenges, state Armin Grunwald and Thomas Saretzki, the editors of the current TATuP issue “Democracy and Technology Assessment.”
How does technology assessment position itself in view of the strengthening of populist movements in democratic countries? What answers does it find to new digital communication and mobilization patterns far from traditional forms of democratic opinion and will formation? And how flexibly or even “opportunistically” may TA researchers act in authoritarian states? The authors of the TATuP special topic explore these questions from a variety of thematic and disciplinary perspectives.
Interview: Independent policy advice in the USA
Not only in Europe but also in the USA, the question arises as to how scientific policy advice can succeed in the face of rapid technological development and its far-reaching social implications. Timothy M. Persons is Chief Scientist of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which advises the U.S. Congress on a wide range of topics such as artificial intelligence, sustainable chemistry, biosafety, and 3D printing. In the interview, he provides insights into his work and TA practice in the USA.
The two articles in the “Research” section deal with responsibility in the context of research, technology, and innovation in Germany and with building refurbishment in the conflict between energy efficiency and social compatibility. Also in the new TATuP: a contribution to the debate on the role of TA in times of the Covid 19 pandemic as well as reviews, conference reports, and news from the TA scene.