Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften http://www.oeaw.ac.at de-at Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Tue, 21 Mar 2023 08:17:03 +0100 Tue, 21 Mar 2023 08:17:03 +0100 Typo3 news-24665 Mon, 05 Jun 2023 14:09:00 +0200 TA23 - June 5-6 2023 http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/ita/veranstaltungen/ta23-konferenz The Conference on Technology Assessment will be held on June 5-6, 2023 at the ÖAW campus. All information about the Call for Papers. News Veranstaltungen Konferenzen news-26063 Mon, 20 Mar 2023 16:10:52 +0100 test http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/test-8 News news-26000 Wed, 15 Mar 2023 13:19:55 +0100 Infrastructures in climate change http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/infrastrukturen-im-klimawandel Introducing: Cordula Kropp is keynote speaker at TA23 Cordula Kropp is one of the two keynote speakers at this year's TA23 Technology Assessment Conference in Vienna in June. Her keynote, titled "Infrastructures in Climate Change," (original German title "Infrastrukturen im Klimawandel") will take a closer look at the interaction of global warming with infrastructure development: 

"Infrastructures are essential switchers of societal natural relations. They are variously sociotechnically integrated and intertwined, go hand in hand as cognitive standards and technological connection constraints with interactions in all social spheres, and therefore have great persistence. Their construction, reconstruction and dismantling aims at channeling and co-designing uncertain futures. For this reason, infrastructure development projects have always been the subject of technology assessment and also transformation research. Global warming is the result of today's infrastructures, forcing their climate-responsive transformation. The goals of climate neutrality demand a fundamental transformation of growth- and efficiency-oriented infrastructure development and raise far-reaching questions - also and especially in the context of digital sector coupling, which will be opened up in the lecture."

Cordula Kropp is director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Research at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) at the Institute of Social Sciences - Chair of Sociology with a focus on risk and technology research. 
In her research, she investigates socio-technical transformation processes such as the current infrastructure change (energy transition, mobility transition) and the possibilities of a sustainability and participation-oriented design of the changes. Special attention is paid to the increasing digital penetration of production and infrastructures and the associated opportunities and risks. What is driving the current societal transformation that is accompanied by automation processes in decision-making and production, leading to novel constellations of distributed control? How can digital, computer-based innovations be implemented in the construction sector, what quality and sustainability goals accompany the computerization of construction and robotic prefabrication, and what are the prerequisites of distributed control in the increasingly close human-machine interaction?

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news-26060 Tue, 14 Mar 2023 12:37:21 +0100 ÖAW Essay Award: Alexander Bogner on top for the 3rd time http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/oeaw-essay-award-alexander-bogner-on-top-for-the-3rd-time Fact or Fake: How do we deal with scientific scepticism?" - was the current prize question of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The three best essays have now been selected from over 140 submitted. Disinterest, prejudice and a sceptical attitude towards science are particularly pronounced in Austria in an international comparison. This has been proven by surveys such as the Eurobarometer or, most recently, the Science Barometer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). What can be done about it? That is precisely what the ÖAW wanted to know in a publicly announced prize question: "Fact or Fake: How do we deal with scientific scepticism?"

The jury, consisting of members of the Academy, has now for the first time awarded three prizewinners ex aequo from more than 140 submissions: Joachim Allgaier, Alexander Bogner and Klaus Gourgé each receive prize money of 8,000 euros. The jury, which reviewed anonymous submissions, justified its decision by saying that there is not just one right answer to such a multi-faceted question.

ÖAW President Heinz Faßmann says: "The topic of scientific scepticism is moving, as shown by the impressively high number of entries to the current ÖAW Prize question. Three contributions stand out in particular and provide the Academy with a number of suggestions. I warmly congratulate all the prize winners."

Self-criticism as a value of science

"The soul of science is tolerance," sociologist Alexander Bogner, who conducts research at the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, quotes legal theorist Hans Kelsen in his submission. He points out that science requires a high degree of self-criticism and self-relativisation. "Obscurantism, authoritarianism and dogmatism are not compatible with the ethos of science," Bogner writes in his essay. For: science embodies values "that promote a prosperous coexistence in modern, fragmented, pluralistic societies".

In his article, Alexander Bogner argues for public forums in order to be able to openly discuss different conflicts of values. The "readiness for genuine understanding, for shared learning, for open discourse" is what not only science, but also democracy is at its core. Bogner thus sees scepticism about science primarily as a (democratic) political problem.


The three best contributions to the prize question can be read and downloaded here (in German):

Joachim Allgaier: On the counterattack against disinformation: How do we succeed in promoting scepticism in the face of deliberately induced social scepticism about science?

Alexander Bogner: How do we deal with scientific scepticism?

Klaus Gourgé: The Birth of Science from the Spirit of Scepticism

News Starseite_EN OpenTA Alexander Bogner
news-25922 Mon, 06 Mar 2023 14:02:57 +0100 Healthy Food in the City http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/healthy-food-in-the-city Climate change and resource scarcity are making the production and quality of regional food increasingly important. The CITY.FOOD.BASKET project has investigated how regional food baskets can be promoted, examples were the Austrian cities Vienna and Graz. Food security, sustainable agriculture and bio-economy - these are some of the topics that are also integrated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. A key goal here is to sustainably supply urban areas with healthy and regional food and to make them more crisis-resistant.

In order to be able to address these challenges, Mahshid Sotoudeh from the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and her team investigated within the framework of the CITY.FOOD.BASKET project how regional shopping baskets can be promoted in the future. The experts' concrete recommendations are directed at politics, production, consumers and trade.

Extra points for sustainability

"In general, it is noticeable that people in Austria are rethinking things due to climate change and global environmental pollution.They are increasingly opting for regional and organic products. The economy should take advantage of this moment and recognise the value of healthy food," emphasises Sotoudeh. One of the recommendations is therefore to strengthen civil society involvement and to promote the strong need of consumers for a personal relationship with producers.

Furthermore, the researchers recommend to regulate regional food prices, e.g. through tax concessions, compared to non-sustainable forms of production, and to promote regional economic cooperation, e.g. through quality seals, labels and product standards. The availability of regional products outside of supermarkets, for example through pick-up stations, vending machines and online shops, is also essential. The full report and detailed recommendations will appear soon.


Folder (PDF, in German): CITY.FOOD.BASKET – nahhaltig Konsumieren leicht gemacht: Regionale Warenkörbe für Interaktion, Kompetenzaufbau und Lebensmittelsicherheit

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA Mahshid Sotoudeh Niklas Gudowsky
news-25920 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 14:16:13 +0100 Looking East! - Technology Assessment in Central and Eastern Europe http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/looking-east-technology-assessment-in-central-and-eastern-europe A new ITA manuscript asks: What is the state of technology assessment (TA) in Central and Eastern Europe? How can TA institutions network better and learn from each other? And is there perhaps a need for more openness in approaching each other? "Technology assessment (TA) originated in the USA, today it exists almost all over the world," says ITA Director Michael Nentwich about the rise of TA in the past four decades. "The EU project PACITA, which ran from 2011 to 2015, contributed to the further development of TA in the Czech Republic, Latvia and Bulgaria. With the GlobalTA network, we have reached out to even more international TA institutions. This new initiative now builds on these projects and focuses on the CEE region."

Promoting dialogue between policy and technology assessment

So, what are the main TA issues and approaches in Central and Eastern Europe, and which research institutes, consultancies or think tanks are involved? And what could be done to strengthen the policy discourse on the unintended socio-economic consequences of technology and innovation in this region? Are there institutions doing technology assessment that have perhaps not yet been discovered? All these questions are addressed in the current ITA manuscript. TA experts from all EU member states in this region, from Croatia to Estonia, from Poland to Romania, report on their experiences and challenges.

Co-author Titus Udrea summarises the conclusions of the study as follows: "It is important for us to have a mutual exchange - not only about the best ways to conduct TA, but also to bring politicians and TA experts into conversation with each other. Our next goal is therefore to organise Europe-wide workshops, for example within the framework of the globalTA network. What is certain is that we should continue to support this region."

Click here to download:
„Technology Assessment in Central and Eastern Europe - Status quo in 2022 and future prospects”

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news-25816 Wed, 22 Feb 2023 12:45:23 +0100 ITA workshop brings politics and science together http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/ita-workshop-brings-politics-and-science-together The recently published "Vienna Theses" on policy advice, co-authored by ITA researcher Alexander Bogner, are intended to form the basis for constructive policy advice. At a workshop organized by Bogner and his project team, high-ranking representatives from politics, research and the health sector discussed how evidence-based policy can succeed. Politics and science function differently. The Corona pandemic has made it clear that scientific facts do not make good policy. Stabilisation in times of crisis, it turns out, requires both: scientific expertise and political skill.

This knowledge formed the basis of the workshop that Bogner, sociologist at the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, organised together with his colleagues Daniela Fuchs, Tanja Sinozic and Paul Buntfuß as part of the KIRAS project EPISTEMIS on 16 February 2023. Representatives from the Ministries of Science, the Interior and Health, as well as from AGES and Gesundheit Österreich were present.

Communicating through differences

"Scientists assume that politicians want rational advice. Politicians, however, want to make decisions that don’t cause too much conflict. Both sides need to understand each other's rationalities in order to be able to communicate better," stresses Bogner. In small groups, participants also discussed how different voices can be heard in policy advice and how the diversity of views and different points of view can be used constructively: “The pandemic is not just a health problem but an interconnected crisis in which social, economic and psychological aspects must also be taken into account. Different voices should also be heard. This requires an active debate between different cultures of knowledge. Opposing views must not be allowed to stand side by side in isolation."

The EPISTEMIS project has been comparing the practice of scientific policy advice in the UK, Germany and Austria since October 2021. The results will be presented in spring 2023.


ITA project: Epistemic Security – On Scientific Expertise in Chronic Crises

News: ÖAW veröffentlicht mit Leopoldina „Wiener Thesen“ (in German)

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA
news-25637 Thu, 16 Feb 2023 13:31:59 +0100 Blackout fears and Google alternatives http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/blackout-fears-and-google-alternatives The risks of a blackouts or a possible internet outage where the most heavily debated topics for ITA experts in 2022. Other media-highlights revolved, for example, around the search for Google alternatives and digitalisation in all its forms - be it AI for consumers, mobile communication or cyber security.
No power, no internet – and now what?

What happens in case of a large-scale blackout? And how would the health sector, logistics and other crucial infrastructure deal with an internet outage? In both cases, one thing is for certain: life as we know it would come to a halt. ITA-experts explored both scenarios in 2022.

In September, Jaro Krieger-Lamina and a multi-disciplinary project team, which included the BOKU Vienna, presented the findings of the multi-disciplinary project ISIDOR, a two-year analysis on what would happen in Austria when the internet dies: “Our water and the power supply would not be affected. However, other infrastructure like hospitals or logistics, would seriously suffer”, stresses Krieger-Lamina. Together with Steffen Bettin, he also presented the results of a second study on a blackout in Austria to Parliament. The study, conducted by the working group ITA/AIT (Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Institute of Technology), was commissioned by the Austrian Parliament. It provides an overview of the knowledge and the existing need for action to prevent electricity shortages or blackouts from occurring.

Search Engines – why we need alternatives to Google

Google is answering all our questions, but is far from objective. Results are ranked, commercial interests come into play. The ITA’s Astrid Mager has devoted her research to exploring what is behind the largest global search engines and analysing real alternatives for Europe. In February 2022 she presented her findings at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. ORF Online writes about her presentation: “The quality of the search results we see cannot really be measured. So, it may be that a large company is listed higher than a more helpful small site.” APA, the Austrian Press Agency, says: “Search engines are not a neutral technology. Social power relations are also inscribed in their algorithms.” Der Standard’s Alois Pumhösel finds that “you have to look for alternatives with a magnifying glass”.

AI, 5G, digital sovereignty

Other media high-lights centered around digitisation: Walter Peissl, together with the Austrian Chamber of Labor, warned of the many unanswered questions around Artificial Intelligence: “AI is not consumer-ready yet, we do not understand decision-making factors enough to monitor them appropriately.” Michael Nentwich, the director of the ITA, stressed the importance of digital sovereignty at the annual Internet Summit Austria: “We must thrive to become more independent in the area of cyber-security. We need substantial investments to strengthen our national competencies”. Karen Kastenhofer, author of the parliamentary study “5G and Health”, was quoted by Austrian newspaper “Die Kronen Zeitung” saying: “We should discuss the issue openly and examine alternatives. For example, receiving 5G via fibre optic technology. This reduces the need for electromagnetic fields, which are still poorly little researched and may have effects on living beings. It would also be a signal to the population that concerns are being taken seriously.”

ITA Top-Topics 2022

click to enlarge

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news-25606 Fri, 10 Feb 2023 12:02:00 +0100 ChatGPT: „Vor der allwissenden KI brauchen wir uns noch nicht zu fürchten“ https://www.oeaw.ac.at/news/chatgpt-vor-der-allwissenden-ki-brauchen-wir-uns-noch-nicht-zu-fuerchten ChatGPT ist in aller Munde und steht im Kreuzfeuer der Kritik. Alles nur ein Hype? Oder kann der Chatbot tatsächlich die Welt verändern? ÖAW-Technikfolgen-Experte Stefan Strauß ist jedenfalls überzeugt: Statt Ängsten und Verboten brauchen wir mehr Medienkompetenz im Umgang mit den neuen Technologien. News Startseite_DE OpenTA news-25549 Wed, 08 Feb 2023 11:12:48 +0100 Are Austrians really not believing in the science? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/are-austrians-really-not-believing-in-the-science Surveys are not everything when it comes to explaining scepticism about science. Participation of citizens in science and the right communication in the right place are essential to convey the value of science, emphasise ÖAW experts at the Joint Academy Day. On 1 February, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW) and the German Leopoldina held a "Joint Academy Day" to discuss the current challenges of science communication from the perspectives of science and the media. On the panel were ITA researcher Alexander Bogner together with Matthias Karmasin (CMD-OEAW), Eva Stanzl from the newspaper Wiener Zeitung and Michael Hallek, Christoph M. Schmidt and Ricarda Winkelmann from the Leopoldina.

A struggle for values

For Alexander Bogner, the scepticism of Austrians towards science cannot be clearly measured by surveys like the Eurobarometer: "We ask people whether they trust science, but we don't know what exactly we are measuring on the basis of their answers. We don't even know what these people think of when they hear the term 'science'." The protests during the Corona pandemic had deeper causes than a mere rejection of science, Bogner continues: "People protest when they feel their identity or political beliefs are threatened by science's explanations. They associate values and views with science that are not theirs," says Bogner.

Understanding through participation

For Bogner, a lot of research is still needed for the causes of science scepticism: "It is not just about the public understanding everything that research says, but about communicating the values of science, namely openness and critical faculties. Citizen Science, the participation of citizens, enables a rapprochement, an understanding of how science works."

For Mathias Karmasin it is not about more but about the right communication. "I have to think about who I address and what language I use. The public does not differentiate on as many levels as scientists often do. What messages are important? That’s something we have to negotiate before we pass them on." Events such as the Children's University or the Long Night of Research have an important function in the transfer of knowledge, Karmasin said.

Watch the panel discussion "New challenges for science communication" (in German) here on Youtube.

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA
news-25550 Thu, 02 Feb 2023 20:35:05 +0100 Interview: What can advisors to politicians learn from the Corona crisis? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/interview-what-can-advisors-to-politicians-learn-from-the-corona-crisis Alexander Bogner, co-author of the "Vienna Theses on Policy Advice" and sociologist at ITA, says in an interview with Radio Ö1: "Science should enable the autonomy of politics". On the occasion of the Joint Academy Day of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW) and the German Leopoldina on 1 February 2023, during which the "Vienna Theses" on successful scientific policy advice were presented and discussed, ITA sociologist Alexander Bogner emphasises the importance of independent policy that relies on scientific advice in an interview with the The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bogner recently published a book with renown publisher Reclam “Die Epistemisierung des Politischen” and is a Senior Scientist at the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In the Ö1 interview he sums up the role of policy advice in the pandemic.

Science not an excuse for politicians

"Scientific policy advice has become professionalised in Austria in a very short time, the highlight being the establishment of the Gecko Commission in December 2021. That was an attempt to centralise advice so that policy-makers have a single point of contact. But there were problems in the process, from both sides," Bogner says in the interview.

On the one hand, policy-makers sometimes instrumentalised scientific recommendations to legitimise preconceived decisions. "On the other hand, we have also seen that science has begun to play politics. When recommendations are formulated as political appeals, this is also problematic," says Bogner.

Ultimately, however, it is about learning from mistakes, he says. The Vienna Theses on Policy Advice are intended to provide guidelines for reflection: "This also means that science should ensure that not all the burden of justification is lifted from politics. Policy-makers should explain why they have decided to take which measures based on which considerations.

Evidence-based policy is also advisable in other areas, such as education or migration, says Bogner.

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news-25468 Wed, 01 Feb 2023 08:51:50 +0100 Recycling of precious plastics http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/recycling-von-wertvollen-kunststoffen New NanoTrust dossier examining marker materials and spectroscopic methods for sorting plastic waste. Modern waste sorting systems are automated, sensor-based sorting systems and capable of separating some commercially available plastics. However, many technical plastics, including highly valuable ones such as polyoxymethylene used in the production of molded parts by injection molding, are not detected and recognized in this process and thus are not sent to a recycling process.

Special marker materials can be incorporated into plastics in such a way that they could be detected by spectroscopic methods and thus sorted. As recycling rates are still too low in many EU countries, this method is intended to help meet the recycling targets of the EU's Circular Economy Action Plan.

However, the large-scale use of marker materials, for example for inexpensive bulk plastics in the packaging industry, still has a catch: the high price! Therefore, the greatest potential for marker-based sorting lies in the area of expensive, technical plastics, such as those in waste electrical equipment.

More on the topic in NanoTrust Dossier 60 by Christoph Olscher, Aleksander Jandric, Christian Zafiu, Anna Pavlicek and Florian Part.

News English NanoTrust News Starseite_EN Nanotechnologien
news-25414 Thu, 26 Jan 2023 13:16:08 +0100 "Für Abgeordnete ist Zeit Mangelware" https://www.oeaw.ac.at/news/wie-wissenschaftliche-politikberatung-funktionieren-kann Wie funktioniert Politikberatung? Im ÖAW-Interview erzählt ITA-Direktor Michael Nentwich was es braucht, um Abgeordnete des Parlaments in allen Fragen, die der wissenschaftlich-technische Fortschritt mit sich bringt, mit Wissen zu versorgen. Wie lässt sich algorithmische Diskriminierung verhindern? Was machen wir bei einem großflächigen Internetausfall? Droht uns tatsächlich bald ein Blackout? Es sind Fragen wie diese mit denen sich das Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW) auseinandersetzt. Auf diese Expertise setzt auch das österreichische Parlament. Forscher:innen der ÖAW unterstützen den Nationalrat in den Bereichen Foresight und Technikfolgenabschätzung – und diese Zusammenarbeit wurde kürzlich mit einem neuen Kooperationsvertrag gefestigt.

Über die Rolle der parlamentarischen Technikfolgenabschätzung und die spezifischen Herausforderungen, konkrete politische Entscheidungen zum Umgang mit dem wissenschaftlich-technischen Fortschritt beratend zu begleiten, spricht Michael Nentwich, Direktor des Instituts für Technikfolgenabschätzung der ÖAW, im Interview.

Warum wird es immer wichtiger, über die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von technologischen Entwicklungen Bescheid zu wissen?

Michael Nentwich: Über die Folgen des Einsatzes von Technik nachzudenken war und ist wesentlich. Technologien und Gesellschaft beeinflussen sich wechselseitig. In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten konnten wir beobachten, wie unser Alltag, unsere Wirtschaft, ja alle Bereiche unseres Lebens immer mehr von Technik durchdrungen werden. Daher müssen wir in Zukunft noch mehr als bisher auf systemische Effekte schauen und auch die Wechselwirkungen zwischen unterschiedlichen Technologien untersuchen.

Ein Beispiel, bitte?

Nentwich: Zu Beginn der Entwicklung der Telekommunikation, also in der Ära des Festnetztelefons mit hohen Verbindungsentgelten, war Telefonieren ein Luxus. Heute ist das Mobiltelefon unser täglicher Begleiter, elektronische Kommunikation ist billig geworden. Allein am Smartphone hat jede:r von uns zahlreiche Kanäle gleichzeitig zur Verfügung, nicht nur Telefonie, auch E-Mail, Chats, SMS, Soziale Medien usw.

Das hat nicht nur unser persönliches Kommunikationsverhalten stark verändert, sondern hat auch Auswirkungen auf die Gesellschaft als Ganzes: Die neuen Arten zu kommunizieren nehmen viel Zeit in Anspruch, die damit nicht mehr für anderes zur Verfügung steht. Was das langfristig bedeutet, wäre ein typisches Thema für die Technikfolgenabschätzung, ebenso wie die Folgen für unsere Privatsphäre oder der zunehmende Einfluss der Algorithmen auf unser Leben.

Wie kann die Forschung hier die Politik bei der Gestaltung des sozio-technischen Wandels unterstützen?

Nentwich: Forschung kann einerseits spezifische Wissenslücken schließen. Andererseits gibt es in der Wissenschaft zu vielen Themen schon sehr viel Wissen. Technikfolgenabschätzung bereitet das vorhandene Wissen für die Politik auf. Das bedeutet, dass wir den Stand des Wissens erheben, Wissenslücken aufzeigen und auf dieser Basis Schlussfolgerungen ziehen, diese Ergebnisse in einer zugänglichen Sprache, also nicht in Fachchinesisch, darstellen und darauf aufbauend Handlungsoptionen für die Politik erarbeiten.

Welche waren die größten Herausforderungen in Ihrer langjährigen Zusammenarbeit mit dem österreichischen Parlament?

Nentwich: Für Abgeordnete ist Zeit Mangelware. Wir als wissenschaftliche Berater:innen müssen daher um Aufmerksamkeit und Gesprächszeit ringen. Und wenn wir in einer Besprechung mit Abgeordneten und ihren Mitarbeiter:innen sind, gilt es, rasch auf den Punkt zu kommen und die richtige „Sprache“ zu sprechen. Das ist eine ständige Herausforderung, selbst dann, wenn man damit wie wir viel Erfahrung hat.

Dazu kommt noch, dass die thematischen Zuständigkeiten im Parlament nicht langfristig konstant sind und der Neubeginn einer Legislaturperiode immer auch bedeutet, dass wir es mit neuen Personen und deren Backgrounds zu tun haben.
Internationales Netzwerk

Wie sieht die Zusammenarbeit mit Parlamenten im internationalen Vergleich aus?

Nentwich: Seit den 1990er-Jahren besteht das Netzwerk European Parliamentary Technology Assessment, kurz EPTA. Mittlerweile zählt es 26 Mitglieder, darunter auch einige außereuropäische wie etwa Argentinien. EPTA ist sehr aktiv, man trifft sich mindestens zweimal im Jahr zum Austausch und erarbeitet gemeinsam Berichte.

Die Zusammenarbeit dieser Einrichtungen mit ihrem jeweiligen Parlament ist höchst unterschiedlich. Teils sind sie direkt im Parlament angesiedelt, in der Parlamentsverwaltung, meist im wissenschaftlichen Dienst oder in der Bibliothek. Teils handelt es sich um externe Einheiten, die ausschließlich für das Parlament arbeiten, wie zum Beispiel in Deutschland; andere sind so wie unser Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung neben dem Parlament auch für andere Institutionen tätig oder betreiben daneben auch Grundlagenforschung.

Was braucht es, damit diese Zusammenarbeit gelingen kann?

Nentwich: Zusammenarbeit an der Schnittstelle zwischen Politik und Wissenschaft ist sehr voraussetzungsvoll. Es braucht Qualitätszeit und damit die Bereitschaft, sich aufeinander einzulassen. Es braucht eine verständliche Sprache, Fachsprache ist kontraproduktiv. Es braucht von Seiten der Wissenschaft, konkret der Technikfolgenabschätzung, ein Gespür dafür, was für Politiker:innen relevant sein wird. Und es benötigt gegenseitiges Vertrauen. Die Wissenschafter:innen müssen darauf vertrauen, dass sie nicht politisch missbraucht oder missinterpretiert werden, und die Politiker:innen darauf, dass die Wissenschafter:innen nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen, also ohne Eigeninteressen, ohne politische Schlagseite und nur auf Basis wissenschaftlich fundierter Ergebnisse beraten. Die Technikfolgenabschätzung ist vor vierzig Jahren genau mit diesem Anspruch angetreten: interdisziplinär, multiperspektivisch und unabhängig.

News Startseite_DE OpenTA Michael Nentwich
news-25389 Wed, 25 Jan 2023 10:28:09 +0100 Wissenschafts­kommunikation in Zeiten der multiplen Krise https://www.oeaw.ac.at/detail/veranstaltung/wissenschaftskommunikation-in-zeiten-der-multiplen-krise Die ÖAW und die Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina laden zu einem "Joint Academy Day" ein, am Podium mit diskutiert u.a. Alexander Bogner vom ITA. News Startseite_DE OpenTA news-25346 Thu, 19 Jan 2023 12:35:58 +0100 Press Conference: Foresight and Technology Assessment for the Austrian Parliament http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/press-conference-foresight-and-technology-assessment-for-the-austrian-parliament ITA Director Michael Nentwich and National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka presented innovations, FID Committee Chairman Hafenecker (FPÖ) looks forward to "fast and flexible" cooperation. The Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW) will continue to provide Parliament with expertise from foresight and technology assessment. At a press conference in the recently reopened Parliament building, National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, the Chairman of the Committee on Research, Innovation and Digitisation Christian Hafenecker (FPÖ), the Director of the Institute of Technology Assessment Michael Nentwich and Parliamentary Director Harald Dossi presented the scientists' support and contributions for legislation.

National Council President Sobotka underlined the desire of all parliamentary groups to continue the project. He said that it showed that the members of parliament put their faith in evidence-based consultation.

For Michael Nentwich it was a "joyful day": "The fact that the Austrian Parliament has decided to perpetuate scientific advice on technology assessment issues is very good news. All the more so because today science and its findings are often called into question. It is reassuring and gratifying that Parliament is backing evidence-based policy. Today is therefore a good day for scientific policy advice, for Austrian politics, for Austria."

OEAW President Heinz Faßmann offered greetings: "Whether climate, migration, energy, or artificial intelligence - our MPs are faced with many legal decisions. Scientific knowledge is of great importance in this context. The Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences can provide information, explanations and background knowledge for selected factual issues in each case and thus support the members of the National Council in their often also difficult work in the best possible scientific way."

Short studies and international networking as focal points

Among the new services that his institute will offer the Parliament in future, Nentwich listed international comparative analyses and "very short studies" that can be commissioned by MPs for quick, well-founded decision-making within a short period of time.

Research Committee Chairman Hafenecker emphasised: "This scientific tool will enable politicians to make even more well-founded decisions with regard to technical developments and their social impact. Be it in the legislative process or in the handling of tax money". With the help of the expertise from the Institute of Technology Assessment, policymakers have the "state of the art knowledge" in dealing with current challenges. He therefore wanted to give the ITA reports even more space in the meetings of his committee.

Scientific know-how for evidence-based policy-making

The institutionalisation of scientific advice in research, technology and innovation policy in Parliament aims to provide all parliamentarians with external scientific support in these areas. Since 2017, the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) has provided semi-annual reports on relevant scientific and technological as well as related societal developments.

The first monitoring report within the new framework contract will be published in May 2023. A more attractive presentation on the Parliament's web portal features improved filter and search options. The advisory board for foresight and technology assessment in parliament - consisting of the parliamentary director and one member of each parliamentary club - or committees (parliamentary group chairpersons) can also issue their own study assignments by consensus. Complex technological and societal challenges such as climate change, demographic change or resource scarcity are dealt with.

In addition to the biannual monitoring, four studies have been commissioned so far: Intermediate Storage of the Future for Electric Energy (2019), 5G Mobile Communications and Health (2020), Cybersecurity: Systematisation, State of Research and Innovation Potentials (2021) and Secure Power Supply and Blackout Prevention in Austria (2022), all of which are available in German only.


All topics from the previous monitoring as well as the commissioned studies are available on the parliamentary website (Language: German)

ITA project page: Monitoring for the Austrian Parliament

"ITA-ÖAW erhält Zuschlag für Foresight und Technikfolgenabschätzung für das Parlament" - Parliamentary Correspondence, 19.01.2023


News English Starseite_EN OpenTA Denise Riedlinger Walter Peissl Thomas Bayer Michael Nentwich
news-25577 Mon, 12 Dec 2022 16:09:17 +0100 How “social” are algorithms in welfare? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/how-social-are-algorithms-in-welfare Automated processes promise more services and less costs. In sensitive areas such as welfare, the use of algorithms could bring disadvantages for people. In a new project, eight EU countries including Austria compare automation in their welfare state systems. Data-based infrastructures are becoming increasingly important in public administration. In the welfare sector, partial automations are expected not only to reduce costs, but also to distribute welfare state services more effectively. Algorithms and the analysis of citizen data are supposed to help. But how does this affect the relationship between citizens and the state? And how will the welfare state change as a result?

Transparency and social justice in the first place

"In Austria and other European countries, decisions on the allocation of social benefits are increasingly being partially automated. Many of these systems have failed because they reinforce social inequalities. Others are still in use although their effects are completely non-transparent to the public", says Doris Allhutter from the ITA of the Austrian Academy of Sciences about the European efforts to date to achieve improvements in performance in this area.

The project Automating Welfare - Algorithmic Infrastructures for Human Flourishing in Europe, or Auto-Welf for short, is researching the effects of welfare automation in the area of core welfare state services, such as employment services, health care and the provision of social services. But it also explores the idea of community welfare in the context of so-called smart city and smart village initiatives. Eight European countries, specifically Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Sweden have different welfare models and initiatives to automate social services. "Auto-Welf is the first research project to investigate automated decision-making in different European welfare systems. We analyse how it affects social justice, equity and the well-being of citizens in Europe."

AUTO-WELF project page


News English Starseite_EN Project news
news-25018 Mon, 12 Dec 2022 15:10:53 +0100 Quantum dots - molecular lanterns http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/quantenpunkte-molekulare-laternen Glowing nanocrystals in medical and environmental research Quantum dots are tiny nanocrystals made of semiconductor materials and have a special property: they glow! When stimulated by light, quantum dots can therefore be recognized like a "fingerprint". This property makes them interesting for medical and environmental research, for example, as fluorescent markers for labeling cells, as contrast agents in imaging of tumor and deep tissue, or in biosensors and targeted drug delivery. 

Quantum dots could be used as detectable and uniquely identifiable so-called "nanotracers" to mark or locate specific targets, or to derive general information about the fate of synthetic nanoparticles in environmentally relevant media, such as wastewater.

Quantum dots are also already being used in everyday products such as televisions or solar cells. As the number of areas of application and the corresponding increase in production volumes intensifies, so does the potential spread. Since unintentional release and resulting negative effects cannot be ruled out, the risks to humans and the environment are also increasing. To date, however, only limited data exist on potential environmental and health risks.

The complete NanoTrust Dossier 59 on the topic by Anna Pavlicek, Florian Part and Eva-Kathrin Ehmoser is available for download.

News Publication news English NanoTrust News Starseite_EN
news-24862 Fri, 25 Nov 2022 11:34:22 +0100 To be continued: TA in the Austrian Parliament http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/fortsetzung-folgt-ta-im-oesterreichischen-parlament The second round has begun: On November 22, 2022, ITA, in cooperation with its German institute ITAS/KIT, was awarded the contract by the Austrian Parliament to continue the consulting project. The House will be presented with future topics twice a year for the next three years. Studies will follow. The success story continues. Cybersecurity, intermediate energy storage, light pollution, and more than a hundred other topics have been presented to politicians and the public by the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) together with its previous partner AIT over the past four and a half years. Studies were commissioned from several topic proposals. 

"I am very pleased about the award of the parliament. This is a reward for our efforts so far. We have started with a new, excellent team and will be able to advise the members of parliament in the best possible way", ITA Director Michael Nentwich is pleased to say. Continuing to advise the National Council on foresight and technology assessment beyond the initial pilot phase is a clear signal that evidence-based policy advice is important to the National Council, as it is to more and more parliaments around the world, and must be institutionalized. "From my perspective, this is an exciting process of continuous change in parliamentary culture. We will continue to provide biannual monitoring reports on important socio-technical developments relevant to Austria and parliament in the coming years."

Monitoring 2.0

During the award procedure, suggestions were made on how monitoring should be optimized in the future. Nentwich: "For the first time, quantitative content analysis methods will also be used. The details will be discussed and determined with the MPs in the coming weeks. What is already certain is that the presentation of future topics on the parliamentary website will be completely redesigned."

Studies to follow

From these semi-annual reports, the MPs can select particular topics for which in-depth studies are requested. In the last project period, for example, these included 5G and blackout, two highly explosive topics for society.

Strong partner

For the new edition, the ITA relies on a new, albeit familiar, partner from the TA family: "We have been able to gain a new, extremely competent partner in the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis in Karlsruhe. ITAS has been running the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag for decades, so it has the greatest possible experience advising parliaments."

News English Starseite_EN ITA-Intern Project news
news-24761 Thu, 17 Nov 2022 00:22:28 +0100 Wie sicher sind wir vor der Technik? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/wie-sicher-sind-wir-vor-der-technik Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT) entwickeln sich rasant weiter und stellen Politik und Regulierung vor große Herausforderungen. Welche neuen Maßnahmen oder Anpassungen braucht es in so einem bewegten Feld wie der KI? Das PANELFIT-Projektteam hat nach Antworten gesucht. „Sicherheit“ ist kein eindeutiger Begriff. Die vielen Facetten von Sicherheit führen zu rechtlicher Unsicherheit und verleiten zur missbräuchlichen Verwendung, etwa wenn private Unternehmen für den Einsatz neuer Technologien bestehende Datenschutzregelungen nicht ausreichend berücksichtigen. Für Johann Čas, Technikforscher am Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung der ÖAW, droht das Verhältnis von Privatheit und Freiheit aus dem Gleichgewicht zu geraten.

Im Projekt PANELFIT haben Čas und seine Kollegen vom ITA als Teil eines internationalen Konsortiums diese Problematik untersucht. „Der Fortbestand von Demokratien ist eine zentrale Voraussetzung für Sicherheit. Wenn Demokratien Bestand haben sollen, braucht es aber auch Gesetze, die ihre Grundsätze und Werte konsequent umsetzen, das gilt auch für den Bereich der IKTs“, betont Čas.

Im aktuellen ITA-Dossier „Braucht neue Technologie neues Recht?“ untersucht das PANELFIT-Team, ob bestehende Regelungen, wie etwa die Datenschutzgrundverordnung, ausreichend sind und welche neuen Maßnahmen oder Anpassungen es braucht, um ethischen Grauzonen bei der Nutzung von Künstlicher Intelligenz und Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien vorzubeugen.  

Hier geht’s zum Dossier „Brauchen neue Technologie neues Recht?“

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news-24647 Tue, 08 Nov 2022 13:46:54 +0100 Can artificial intelligence counter growing inequality? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/kann-kuenstliche-intelligenz-wachsender-ungleichheit-entgegenwirken Poverty and the widening gap in income and wealth pose an enormous threat to social sustainability and political stability worldwide. During his five months residency in Brazil, Johann Čas (ITA) will explore whether and how artificial intelligence can contribute to sustainable and more equitable development.  


There are great hopes and fears associated with the development of AI technologies. One central and still open question is how AI systems can be developed and deployed in an ethical manner.

"So-called 'artificial intelligence' is hyped as a key technology for maintaining prosperity and competitiveness. But surprisingly little attention is paid to how AI could actually contribute to an equal distribution of wealth and prosperity" stresses Čas, who works at the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Academy of Sciences.

During his five-month research stay at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro, he will therefore focus in particular on the question which different concepts of regulating artificial intelligence are suitable for mitigating the problems of increasing inequality at the national and global level. FGV is one of the most influential think tanks both in Latin America and globally.


The exchange will take place within the framework of the PRODIGEES project funded by the EU through the Horizon2020 program. PRODIGEES was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program H2020-MSCA-RISE-2019 under grant agreement No. [873119].

News English Starseite_EN
news-24645 Tue, 08 Nov 2022 12:01:17 +0100 European cooperation http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/europaeische-zusammenarbeit Where do we stand when the going gets tough? How can technology assessment (TA) help us prepare for a long-term crises? At the EPTA conference in Berlin, technology researchers and politicians discussed the role of TA in the midst of social and technological upheavals. How resilient are critical infrastructures such as communication networks or power supply? Where will the increasing role of artificial intelligence in the development and use of modern weapons lead us? And what role does technology play in dealing with climate change?

These and other current topics were intensively discussed at the annual meeting of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network in Berlin on October 17. Under the title "Disruption in society - TA to the rescue?", the Office of Technology Assessment (TAB) at the German Bundestag welcomed members of parliament from several European countries.

How likely is a blackout?

In his keynote speech, Marc Elsberg talked about his work on his successful novel "Blackout”. He described possible consequences and as yet unsolved problems that could arise in such a situation. Jaro Krieger-Lamina from the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, presented the study on supply security and blackout precautions in the Austrian power grid, which was written by the ITA for the Austrian Parliament.

Austrian Member of Parliament Gerhard Deimek emphasized the valuable work of technology assessment for parliament. He said that it was essential to prepare for a wide variety of disasters. Therefore, the personal commitment of politicians and the population is also needed. This was also emphasized by Katri Liekkilä, Chairwoman of the Finnish Civil Protection Authority NESA. In the panel, she reported on examples of best practice in preparing the population for a crisis in Finland.

Dying forests, self-thinking weapon systems

Also discussed was the use of autonomous weapon systems. Which weapon may act autonomously, which may not, and how can the limits be enshrined in international law? Another panel focused on how to save Europe's forests, which are already suffering greatly from climate change, and preserve them for the future.

"Every day we are confronted with uncertainty, for example when it comes to our energy supply or our health," emphasizes ITA Director Michael Nentwich. "We cannot value international collaboration enough if we want to be ready to cope with technological change and take on the challenges we are currently facing."

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA
news-24549 Thu, 27 Oct 2022 13:07:40 +0200 Schöne neue Kulturwelt? - NTA-Tagung in Bern http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/schoene-neue-kulturwelt-nta-tagung-in-bern Wie verändert Digitalisierung das Wesen kultureller Ausdrucksformen und unser Verständnis davon, was Kultur ist? Diese und weitere Fragen stehen im Zentrum der NTA10 in Bern diskutiert zu der sie das Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung (ITA) der ÖAW herzlich einlädt! Die Digitalisierung transformiert alle Lebensbereiche, darunter auch die Kultur. Rund um das Thema gibt es eine Vielzahl an Fragen: Wie verändert sich die Beziehung zwischen Künstlerinnen und Künstlern und ihrem Publikum? Was bedeutet digitaler Wandel für die Auseinandersetzung des Publikums durch das Prisma der Kultur mit der Welt und somit auch für die Reflexion des Selbst?

Digitalisierung erzeugt auch neue Teilhabechancen und Teilhaberisiken. Wie wirkt es sich aus, dass zunehmend kommerzielle Plattformen als Vermittlungsinstanzen auftreten, sowohl für Kultur in ihrer Vielfalt als auch für Kunstschaffende? Wie verändern sich Orte kulturellen Schaffens oder der Bewahrung immaterieller und materieller Güter? Wie tangieren diese Entwicklungen die staatliche Förderung von Kultur? Zeigen sich diesbezüglich Unterschiede zwischen den Strategien in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz?

Diese und weitere Fragen werden im Rahmen der NTA10 in Bern diskutiert. Das Netzwerk wurde 2004 u.a. vom ITA mitbegründet mit dem Ziel, die Zusammenarbeit unter den TA-Forscherinnen und -Forschern zu fördern und TA in Wissenschaft, Politik, Wirtschaft und Öffentlichkeit bekannt zu machen.


News Startseite_DE OpenTA Konferenzen
news-23658 Tue, 04 Oct 2022 18:00:00 +0200 Digitalisierung, Mensch und Gesellschaft - Podiumsdiskussion, 4. Oktober, ÖAW http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/digitalisierung-mensch-und-gesellschaft-colloquium-digitale Digitalisierung bedeutet nicht zwingend Demokratie. Am 4. Oktober diskutieren ExpertInnen an der ÖAW zum Thema Digitalisierung im Demokratischen Diskurs: Wandelnder Widerspruch oder Wegbereiter neuer Wissenskultur? Sicherheitsexperte Stefan Strauß vom ITA ist mit dabei. Wissenskulturen und der Umgang mit Wissen sind maßgeblich für einen lebendigen demokratischen Diskurs. Die Digitalisierung hat gerade darauf vielfältige Auswirkungen. Um den technologischen Wandel zum Nutzen von Mensch und Gesellschaft zu gestalten, sind humanistische Grundprinzipien wie z.B. Meinungsfreiheit, Grundrechte, Aufklärung, Pluralismus oder freier Wissenszugang von zentraler Bedeutung. Gerade diese sind bei der aktuellen digitalen Transformation aber nicht zwingend inhärent, wie die Praxis zeigt.

Die Veranstaltung beleuchtet deshalb die Spannungsfelder und Synergien zwischen Digitalisierung, Demokratie und Wissenskultur im Antlitz eines digitalen Humanismus, der entschlossen zum Ziel hat, die Herausforderungen einer gerechten und demokratischen Gesellschaft mit dem Menschen im Zentrum des technologischen Wandels zu bewältigen.

Die Podiumsdiskussion findet in Kooperation mit der "Digitaler-Humanismus"-Initiative des WWTF statt.



Christiane Wendehorst | Präsidentin der historisch-philosophischen Klasse der ÖAW
Michael Stampfer | Geschäftsführer des Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds 
Georg Vogeler | Professor für Digital Humanities, Universität Graz
Stefan Strauß | Senior Academy Scientist im Forschungsbereich „digital technology, democracy and society“, Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung, ÖAW


Moderation und Konzeption: Stefan Strauß, Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung (ITA) der ÖAW und Georg Vogeler, Universität Graz

Ulrike Zartler | Professorin für Familiensoziologie, Universität Wien
Ingrid Schneider | Professorin für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Hamburg
Christoph Bareither | Professor für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Universität Tübingen 
Anke Berghaus-Sprengel | Direktorin, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt 
Mareike König | stellvertretende Direktorin, Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris
Christoph Neuberger | geschäftsführender Direktor, Weizenbaum-Institut für die vernetzte Gesellschaft, Berlin, sowie Professor für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin

Im Anschluss an die Veranstaltung wird zu einem Empfang geladen.
Es gelten die zum Zeitpunkt der Veranstaltung gültigen COVID-Maßnahmen.

News Startseite_DE Veranstaltungen hybrid
news-24069 Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:00:00 +0200 Was geht ohne Internet? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/default-e594307514 Wie würde sich ein anhaltender, großflächiger Internet-Ausfall auswirken? Das Forschungsprojekt ISIDOR untersuchte die Situation in Österreich und präsentiert am 28. September die Ergebnisse. Zahllose Kommunikationskanäle, Dienstleistungen und Tools benötigen das Internet. Was aber passiert, wenn diese gar nicht oder nur eingeschränkt zur Verfügung stehen? Steht Österreich dann still? Ist das eine Situation, auf die man vorbereitet sein kann? Und was bedeutet das für das staatliche Krisen- und Katastrophenschutzmanagement?

Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojekts ISIDOR, an dem auch das Institut für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung (ITA) der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW) beteiligt war, haben Expert*innen die Lage kritischer Infrastrukturen bewertet. Die einzelnen Sektoren wurden getrennt betrachtet, ein Modell ermöglichte eine sektorübergreifende Darstellung, die kausale Zusammenhänge und wechselseitige Abhängigkeiten abbildet. So konnten Erkenntnisse über die Lage nach einem Ausfall erlangt und Merkmale vernetzter Krisen identifiziert werden. Handlungsempfehlungen auf nationaler und organisationsinterner Ebene sind eines der wesentlichen Ergebnisse des Projekts.

Präsentation der Projektergebnisse

Das über die FFG im Sicherheitsforschungsprogramm KIRAS vom Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft, Regionen und Tourismus geförderte Projekt wurde vom Institut für Produktionswirtschaft und Logistik an der Universität für Bodenkultur koordiniert. Weitere Projektpartner waren neben dem ITA das Bundesministerium für Inneres, das Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort, sowie die Unternehmen Mar Adentro, Repuco und Infraprotect.

News Startseite_DE Event news OpenTA Veranstaltungen Gregor Konicar Walter Peissl Jaro Krieger-Lamina Walter Peissl Hafen Freudenau
news-24070 Thu, 22 Sep 2022 14:19:23 +0200 exploREsearch - bei der European Resarchers Night! http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/exploresearch-bei-der-european-resarchers-night Am 30. September geht ab 15 Uhr an der Universität für Angewandte Kunst die European Researchers Night über die Bühne! Das ITA ist mit dem Thema "Mit Online-Shopping zu gesunder Ernährung?" mit dabei. Gestalte Deine App mit!

Den Klimawandel stoppen, für eine bessere Zukunft umweltbewusst leben, lokal einkaufen – viele wollen es. Gleichzeitig hat die Corona-Zeit das Shopping im Internet boomen lassen. Passt das zusammen?  Am ITA-Stand haben wir Gelegenheit, uns unsere Shopping-Gewohnheiten gemeinsam anzusehen und auch darüber nachzudenken, in was für einer Welt wir leben wollen. 

Außerdem wollen wir mit Dir gemeinsam eine App für gesunde Ernährung gestalten. Stell Dir vor Dein Handy sagt Dir in Sekunden, wo du verpackungslos oder biologisch einkaufen kannst. Jedes Jahr werden alleine in Österreich viele tausende Tonnen Food Waste (Essensabfälle) produziert. Was kann die Digitalisierung beitragen, um Verschwendung entgegenzusteuern?

Tauche in die Welt der Forschung ein

Komm’ zur diesjährigen European Researchers’ Night, einem Mega-Event, der europaweit jedes Jahr in vielen europäischen Städten stattfindet, und das Ziel verfolgt, Groß und Klein spannende Einblicke in verschiedenste Bereiche der Forschung und Wissenschaft zu eröffnen!


News Startseite_DE
news-24068 Thu, 22 Sep 2022 13:21:08 +0200 COVID und das Impfwesen einst und heute https://www.oeaw.ac.at/detail/veranstaltung/covid-und-das-impfwesen-eins-und-heute Ein ÖAW-Symposium beleuchtet im Spiegel von Corona die Entwicklung des Impfwesens. Karen Kastenhofer (ITA) hält eine Session zu "Chancen aus der Pandemie". News Startseite_DE Covid-19 News news-23442 Thu, 04 Aug 2022 11:56:45 +0200 Digital Futures - exciting insights at the European TA conference http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/digital-futures-exciting-insights-at-the-european-ta-conference From July 25 to 27, the international tech assessment community met in Karlsruhe to discuss the digital transformation and its challenges for politics, society, economy, environment and research. The ITA was represented with Doris Allhutter's keynote on discrimination through algorithms and other presentations, the event was hosted by ITAS, our German partner organization. "It was a wonderfully organized, exciting event that offered the opportunity to look beyond the European TA perspective," says a visibly enthusiastic Titus Udrea, who is one of the researchers from the Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of sciences on location. In one of his three talks, he presented a tool for AI startups which was co-developed by the ITA: "Startups are mostly about production and profit, but when AI comes into play, ethical aspects must also be included. A self-assessment tool will help companies answer essential questions and address unknown risks in a timely manner," he explained.

Star author Payal Arora gave the opening keynote

The three-day event was kicked off by Payal Arora, author of the book "The Next Billion Users" (Harvard Press), with a keynote on inclusive design: "I'm interested in what understanding of privacy and identity young people have who have grown up with AI. I see my role as exploring what people's needs and requirements are for technology," she says in an interview with TATuP.

The two other keynotes were given by Jeanette Hoffmann (Free University Berlin), who analysed the concept of democracy from the perspective of self-learning machines, and ITA researcher Doris Allhutter. In her talk, Allhutter presented the problem of discrimination when entire social classes, such as people who are not employed or those with low incomes, are categorized by algorithms.

People and machines

Technology researcher Mahshid Sotoudeh from the ITA emphasizes the importance of transdisciplinarity in regulating digitization: "We need to look at societal challenges beyond disciplines. Take the topic of distance learning, for example: it's not just about technical innovations, but also about social aspects of learning as a core function in society, and about criteria for the fair assessment of performance.

Also participating from the ITA were Steffen Bettin with a presentation on the side effects and risks of the energy transition and Stefan Strauß with a presentation on Deep Automation Bias and Critical AI Literacy. "AI brings new forms of automation. Understanding this new automation and managing its risks for our future requires more problem awareness. Critical AI literacy is therefore essential," Strauß said.

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA Steffen Bettin Titus Udrea Mahshid Sotoudeh Stefan Strauß Doris Allhutter
news-24766 Wed, 03 Aug 2022 13:27:29 +0200 Augmented reality in public spaces? http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/augmented-reality-in-public-spaces What does the world look like through virtual glasses? An ITA project explored the merging of virtual and physical spaces, click here for the short report. Physical and digital public spaces are increasingly merging. The use of augmented reality (AR) via glasses, contact lenses or smartphones is expected to increase. Niklas Gudowsky-Blatakes of the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences has investigated how this development could be shaped politically and socially as part of the project "Augmented Reality in the Park."

Already, countless pieces of information on almost any place in the world are available by using smart phones, smart glasses or other applications. Tech giants often provide us with information that is not objective but commercially driven, ie. which restaurants to visits, or which shops to buy in. If this trend continues, public space could evolve in a number of ways, not all of them favorable. In the new ITA Dossier "Augmented Reality in Public Spaces" Gudowsky gives as a glimpse as to what to expect in the future.

Augmented Reality in Public Space - Download ITA Dossier No. 66

News English Starseite_EN OpenTA
news-23378 Tue, 26 Jul 2022 11:29:39 +0200 RECIPES: EU guide to risk assessment of new technologies published http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/recipes-eu-guide-to-risk-assessment-of-new-technologies-published How safe are new technologies and who’s to judge? When is precaution necessary, when is bold innovation needed? A team of researchers from the ITA looked at precaution in nanotechnologies for the EU project RECIPES. The EU project team has now published the final RECIPES Guidance for application of the precautionary principle in the EU. Download the RECIPES Guidance for application of the precautionary principle in the EU here!

As part of the RECIPES team, a total of nine countries have analysed the regulation of the use of new technologies in areas such as genetic engineering, artificial intelligence or microplastics. André Gazsó, Anna Pavlicek and Daniela Fuchs from the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences conducted a case study on the application of the precautionary principle to nanotechnologies. They consider diversity and practicality as essential for risk assessment: "Responsible innovation should promote technologies that protect people and the environment equally well. This requires experts from many different disciplines. That way, we can build a stable and safe assessment of risks."

"Even though nanomaterials are already used in cosmetics or in food packaging, we still don't know exactly what their actual consequences are. This uncertainty is exactly why timely risk management is needed," says Gazsó comparing the precautionary principle to a compass, as it opens up possibilities for sensibly managing the safe use of new technologies despite their high complexity. "At the ITA, we practice precaution, for example, in the NanoTrust initiative, which in Austria eventually gave rise to the Environment Ministry's Nano Action Plan”, he continues.

EU guide for politics and industry

The resulting guideline draws lessons from the various case studies and makes recommendations. The primary addressees are EU decision-makers and agencies, as well as institutions involved in risk assessment or governance of science, technology and innovation. The document also includes all policy briefs produced during the 3 ½-year life of RECIPES.

The RECIPES (REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders) project, funded by the European Commission, was based on the idea that the responsible application of the precautionary principle and the consideration of innovation aspects are not necessarily in conflict. It aimed to reconcile innovation and precaution. The guideline is intended to ensure precaution while promoting innovation.

News English NanoTrust News Starseite_EN OpenTA
news-21423 Mon, 25 Jul 2022 09:17:00 +0200 5th European Technology Assessment Conference (ETAC5) http://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/news-1/etac5 In July 2022, the international TA community will meet in Karlsruhe to discuss the digital transformation and its challenges for policy, society, economy, environment, and research. Now, we are very happy to announce that the conference will take place from 25th to 27th July 2022 at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe.

The registration reopened today. Although there is a strong emphasis on the physical event in Karlsruhe, we added an option to attend the conference online.

Please find additional information on the conference website.


News English OpenTA Veranstaltungen Konferenzen