Under the heading "Risikodiskurse / Diskursrisiken" (Risk Discourses / Discourse Risks), the central theme addresses linguistic depictions of technological risks and their consequences: How are challenges, expectations, potentials, and uncertainties of technologies negotiated and dealt with as "risks" in discourses? How does communication among the people involved in the discussion work? The editors of the central theme – the sociologist Andreas Lösch and the linguist Marcus Müller – invited authors from both disciplines to present analyses of sociological and linguistic discourse research. The contributions reveal the differences between the two types of discourse research and show how their insights can enrich TA as impact research.
Furthermore, the current issue features an interview: Christoph Braß, former Head of Directorate at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), answers questions on the citizens' dialogues "Technologies and Topics of the Future" (energy technologies, high-tech medicine, demographic change) conducted by the BMBF between 2011 and 2013. These dialogues were innovative not only in terms of their size, scope and political involvement, but especially also due to the active role the ministry played in the conception and implementation. The challenges and opportunities of the dialogues are impressively described in the interview.
The discussion forum this time addresses two topics: Ulrich Dolata and Jan-Felix Schrape critically ask whether the so-called "App Economy" actually leads to a democratization of the software market. Bettina-Johanna Krings in her contribution explains the social science perspective on technical care and assistance systems in times of demographic change. Finally, the issue includes three reports on TA projects, book reviews, conference reports, as well as news from ITAS, TAB, and the Network TA (NTA).
- You can find the table of contents and the articles of issue 2/2014 of "Technology Assessment – Theory and Practice" here.
- An overview of the main focuses of the last issues here.