22.11.2021

30 years of publication: TATuP celebrates anniversary

TATuP, based at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), is currently in its 30th year of publication. Launched in 1992 as TA-Datenbank-Nachrichten, TATuP has evolved over the years into a peer-reviewed open access journal that today addresses an increasingly international audience.

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On the occasion of the anniversary, we as the TATuP editorial team asked the members of the Editorial Board and Scientific Advisory Board,

  1. which contribution from 30 years of TATuP they would like to recommend,
  2. what they particularly appreciate about the journal,
  3. and what they wish for its future.

 

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PD Dr. Alexander Bogner, ITA, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

  1. From the impressive TATuP archive, I would particularly recommend the issue “Democracy and technology assessment” (TATuP 29/3 2020). It exemplifies how TA takes current crisis diagnoses as an opportunity for constructive criticism and self-reflection.
  2. I particularly appreciate the fact that the journal keeps the TA tradition alive. And it does so in constant dialogue with neighboring disciplines and non-scientific actors.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP a continuing passionate editorial team, motivated reviewers, and a large audience.

 

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Dr. Pierre Delvenne, University of Liège, Belgium

  1. I would particularly like to recommend the TATuP article "The hidden fourth dimension" (TATuP 27/1 2018) by Helge Torgensen because it extended the pioneering work of Armin Grunwald on technology assessment theory by opening up a field of research and discussion of crucial importance for TA: normativity.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is that it is a unique platform to build bridges between the different communities of scientists and practitioners interested in technology assessment.
  3. For the future I wish TATuP, as a leading journal in Technology Assessment, will intensify its exchanges with other journals and practitioner’s communities specialized in neighboring conceptual and policy approaches (public participation, responsible innovation, science policy).

 

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Dr. Elisabeth Ehrensperger, Managing Director of TA-Swiss, Bern, Schweiz

  1. I would particularly like to recommend the TATuP issue “Democracy and technology assessment” (TATuP 29/3 2020), because it makes clear that TA must side with democracy while at the same time striving for (political) neutrality.
  2. I especially appreciate the fact that the journal addresses TA topics in a broad, diverse, and in-depth manner and provides an overview of important TA projects in Europe.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP further exciting TATuP issues in the same spirit as before.

 

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Prof. Sven Ove Hansson, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Schweden

  1. I would very much like to recommend the article “Does the concept of genetic ancestry reinforce racism?” by Stefan Burmeister (TATuP 30/2 2021). There he asks whether determination of genetic ancestry can contribute to racism. This is a complex question. On the one hand, genetic ancestry determinations can help create positive consciousness among marginalized groups. On the other hand, the notion of genetic ancestry often reinforces racist ideas. It is an important discussion, and one that is done here in a very nuanced way.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is that so many articles combine analyses from different scientific fields.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP an even wider distribution among politicians, because TATuP presents important perspectives that often do not receive enough attention in political discussions.

 

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Dr. Karen Kastenhofer, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

  1. I would particularly like to recommend the article by Julia Valeska Schröder “The political in TA” (TATuP 28/3 2019). I see technology assessment as a social practice that is ceaselessly inspired and challenged by concrete experiences in the context of practice and theoretical approaches from different sciences. This article copes with the latter in an exemplary way and tells us: We must never get tired of taking a second look!
  2. What I especially appreciate about the journal is that it promotes and communitizes this movement between interaction and reflection with regard to new technologies.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP a lot of courage for obstinacy and at the same time a watchful eye for new challenges and offers!

 

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Prof. Dr. Cordula Kropp, University of Stuttgart, Germany

  1. I would especially like to recommend the TATuP article “Threat, vulnerability, values, and damage. Cyberattacks and cybersecurity as a subject of technology assessment” (TATuP 29/1 2020), because it raises awareness for the vulnerability of digitally networked infrastructures, shows the limits of a general pursuit of security, and identifies starting points for a reflective societal approach from several perspectives.
  2. I particularly appreciate the journal’s balanced mix of expert articles from the perspectives of different disciplines (especially in the special topics) with reports, reviews, and announcements.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP the courage to continue to accompany technology development and innovations with a variety of voices from different disciplines and contexts and to comment on them, especially with regard to the challenges of climate change.

 

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Dr. Justine Lacey, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia

  1. I would particularly like to recommend the TATuP article “Responsibility versus sustainability, ethics, and societal engagement” (TATuP 29/3 2020) by Miltos Ladikas et al., because it tackles the implicit and explicit meaning of responsibility when used in the context of science, technology and innovation. The paper points to how this understanding of the responsibility of scientific research shapes expectations and practice with respect to how that will be (or ought to be) expressed to and with society. I particularly like the reminder that while our own context can dominate our focus, there are insights to be found across cultural and geographical boundaries.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is captured in its title. The interplay between theory and practice around the central focus of technology assessment is executed with precision. Each issue strongly reflects the overarching vision of TATuP through the considered selection and curation of articles. And on any emerging or topical technology related issue, I am always sure to find a dedicated issue to orient me to key developments.
  3. For the future I wish TATuP attracts an even broader readership in parts of the world (such as Australia) that are less familiar with the theory and practice of technology assessment as there is much that my research community can gain from this exchange. Perhaps I also wish for a forthcoming issue on quantum technologies!

 

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Dr. Ralf Lindner, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany

  1. I would particularly like to recommend “The hidden fourth dimension. Normative reflexion as an extension for the theory of technology assessment” (TATuP 27/1 2018) by Helge Torgersen, as the article combines quite a few qualities that I appreciate in so many TATuP publications, namely the willingness to critically examine the own foundations, the thereby expressed ability to productively include perspectives outside the own specialist community, and finally the constructive attitude that strives to advance the concerns of TA.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is that it has always succeeded in addressing the key socio-technical developments that are of high social and political relevance at an early stage. Looking back on 30 years of TATuP, it is quite amazing how often later technology conflicts were anticipated, undesirable consequences were named, and ways of dealing with the identified challenges were pointed out.
  3. For the future, I hope that TATuP will remain the central forum for our community. In doing so, it will always be important to find the right balance between intradisciplinary communication and openness to and exchange with neighboring approaches and disciplines. I think that TATuP has achieved this balance extraordinarily well, especially in the last ten years, and it can therefore safely serve as a model for other journals.

 

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Dr. Stephan Lingner, Institut für qualifizierende Innovationsforschung & -beratung (IQIB), Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany

  1. Among the more recent issues of TATuP, the article “Ambivalences at the core of the scientific-technological dynamic” (TATuP 27/1 2018) by Wolfgang Liebert and Jan C. Schmidt particularly appealed to me, as it commits established basic TA concepts to the special challenges posed by today’s very rapid and far-reaching developments at the interface of science and technology. TA starting at this point could thus be made viable for the future.
  2. As a long-time technology assessor, I like that TATuP defines the scope of socio-technical reflection very broadly and thus represents a good and easily accessible reference of what TA and related approaches in their various forms and contexts are currently concerned with.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP continued good standing in a lively community.

 

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PD Dr. Michael Nentwich, ITA, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

  1. I would especially like to recommend the TATuP article “Normativity in technology assessment” (TATuP 28/1 2019) by Linda Nierling and Helge Torgersen, because it brought a central topic of TA back into the discussion. From the beginning until today, neutrality, impartiality, and political abstention of TA have been cornerstones of thought, as it were, but we are all aware that it is not that simple. We should continue this discussion on an ongoing basis.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is that it offers a good mix of well-founded and up-to-date workshop reports from TA practice and institutional, conceptual, methodological, and theoretical reflection on what we do. It is therefore in the best sense the expert journal of our community, long beyond the original German-speaking area.
  3. For the future, I hope that TATuP succeeds in maintaining and further developing the current convincing concept with open access, peer review, and different types of contributions. We need TATuP!

 

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Dr. Poonam Pandey, DST-Center for Policy Research, IISC, Bangalore, India

  1. I particularly like the interview section in the journal and thoroughly enjoy the discussions especially due to their style and presentation as a conversation between two experts. One of my favorite discussions is between Armin Grunwald and Pierre Delvenne, where they discuss the theme of values of normativity and neutrality in TA. Please find the link to “Balancing engagement and neutrality in technology assessment” (TATuP 28/1 2019) here.
  2. TATuP has been for me a “go-to” reference journal for the most advanced debates around technology assessment and new and emerging technologies for the past 10 years. What I particularly like about this journal is the constant effort that the editors put in to ensure the quality and diversity of topics. The journal issues present a fantastic combination of conceptual, methodological, and empirical studies. Research topics range from contemporary debates on the future of agriculture, health and energy, cybersecurity, and digitalization to reflections on the values and normative aspects of technology assessment itself. In terms of geographical coverage, the journal continues to expand its reach and presents a rich collection of papers on the Global South as well as Eastern Europe and America.
  3. For the future, I would like to see TATuP publish more such debates in new styles and formats to engage wider audiences.

 

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Dr. Witold-Roger Poganietz, ITAS/KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany

  1. I would like to particularly recommend two TATuP articles: "Degrowth and post-growth" by Stephan Lorenz and "Post-growth economy and sustainable development" by Kopfmüller et al. (both TATuP 25/2 2016), because Lorenz systematizes the post-growth discussion and Kopfmüller sets the discussion about post-growth into the context of the sustainability discussion.
  2. What I particularly appreciate about the journal is the variety of topics as well as the range from more problem-oriented contributions to primarily methodological and conceptual discussions.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP a large readership, but also to initiate even more methodological discussions around TA and its relation to other, seemingly comparable, methods (RRI, systems analysis).

 

Dr. Pauline Riousset, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB), Berlin, Germany

  1. I would especially recommend the TATuP article “Science and policy advice – an interview with E. D. Rossmann (MdB) about complexity, political decisions, and technology assessment in the German Bundestag" (TATuP 19/1 2020), because it formulates a clear point of view from the political practice on what politics expects from science.
  2. I particularly appreciate that the journal combines relevance and scientific excellence at the highest level.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP to maintain its sense of relevant topics.

 

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Dr. Martin Sand, TU Delft, Netherlands

  1. I would particularly like to recommend Gotthard Bechmann’s "Describing the future as opportunity or as risk? TA between innovation and prevention" (TATuP 16/1 2007). The article interprets the focus on technology impacts as both a characteristic of TA and its Achilles heel. Bechmann moves easily through such diverse traditions of thought as Luhmann’s systems theory, the Knight School (Marquard), and experimental psychology (Wundt). In doing so, he convincingly questions the idea of linearity in technology development as well as TA’s ability to assume a neutral observer role. This simultaneously embeds TA as an institution within “reflexive modernity” and underlines its peculiar, self-critical attitude.
  2. I particularly appreciate that the journal not only provides its readers with high-quality interdisciplinary contributions but also serves as a central platform for a lively community through conference reports, expert opinions, and news.
  3. For the future, I hope that TATuP will be discovered by even more disciplines as a platform and communication medium. Digitalization and climate change challenge the entire society and all scientific disciplines. TATuP offers the ideal framework for a necessary dialog. Moreover, I hope that TATuP will continue to be used by many young, aspiring scientists as a springboard into the academic community.

 

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Prof. Dr. Karsten Weber, OTH Regensburg, Germany

  1. I do not want to single out one particular TATuP contribution. The broad thematic scope of TATuP, which I consider a great strength, as well as its structure with special topics and general contributions in my opinion do not allow highlighting individual contributions.
  2. I particularly appreciate the fact that the journal demonstrates the diversity of technology assessment and its interfaces with other disciplines. By organizing each issue around a thematic focus, readers can quickly become acquainted with certain issues at a high content level.
  3. For the future, I wish TATuP an even wider distribution and readership, so that technology assessment becomes perceived even more as a scientific discipline, but above all also as a social advisory service in view of the major global challenges.