Call for Abstracts: 5th European Conference on Technology Assessment: Digital Future(s): TA in and for a changing world from the 20th to 23rd of March 2022 in Karlsruhe Germany

Call for Abstracts (Deadline 15th of June 2021)

We are currently experiencing seemingly fundamental changes: the global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation processes in many countries and areas of life. Within these changing contexts, technology assessment (TA) continues to play an important role for shaping societal expectations, ethical concerns and sustainability aspects of existing and emerging technologies. Yet, such changes also have the potential to challenge established TA processes, decision-making and required responses. In its transdisciplinary research tradition, TA ideally enriches scientific knowledge with the perspective of stakeholders and provides orientation knowledge for the society on newly emerging technologies. Specifically, TA focuses on the social relevance and transformation potential of new digital technologies in different fields ranging from energy to education, health care, work, mobility and artificial intelligence.

The 5th European TA Conference invites contributions on digital transformations and their challenges for policy, society, economy, environment and research.

Existing and potential impacts of digital technologies within societies and socio-technical systems (such as power grids, medical treatments, mobility, logistics and production) as well as on individuals, are the central focus of the conference. Overall, there is a broad range of digital technologies relevant for TA. Some are used “purely” digitally, such as artificial intelligence. Others include digital tools to enhance their effectiveness, e.g., robotics, 3-D-printing or sensor technologies. We are interested to cover the impact these technologies have in certain fields, ranging from energy systems, to production and mobility or the agricultural sector as well as in which functions, they are for example used as learning-systems or for prevention. For example, how can algorithms be developed without endangering justice? TA has to search for ways to co-shape these digital technologies according to societal values such as fairness or trust. This entails governance structures that can also account for the inclusion of citizens and stakeholders regarding the implications of digital transformations. The conference therefore seeks to include interdisciplinary contributions from the TA community in both theoretical contributions on digital transformations as well as case studies from applied fields. Additionally, reflections on societal challenges of digital technologies focusing on institutional, policy, organizational and/or technological levels are welcome. Papers addressing innovative methods of (digital) participation as well as TA methods for assessing digital transformations are also encouraged (e.g., how are these methods changed or enriched by digital tools or the use of digital databases).

The Network is delighted to announce that submissions are now open for its 5th European Conference on Technology Assessment on 20-23 March 2022, hosted by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. Digital future(s): TA for and in a changing world serves as a guiding motive for the 5th European Conference for Technology Assessment in 2022. The aim of the TA conference is to discuss how TA and related research fields and activities such as STS, RRI, public engagement, impact assessment or foresight can contribute to knowledge-based policymaking and advice regarding science, digital technologies and innovation and to further engage policymakers, citizens and other stakeholders in this endeavour. Further, we want to foster truly interdisciplinary debates during the conference. For this, contributions from research and scientific organizations as well as practitioners are especially welcome.

More information can be found here. The application deadline is 15 June 2021.