We would like to invite you to take part in the 4th European TA Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, November 4th – 6th 2019, organized by the GlobalTA network. The aim of the conference is to discuss how technology assessment and related activities such as science and technology studies (STS), responsible research and innovation (RRI), public engagement, and foresight can contribute to knowledge-based policy-making on science, technology and innovation, to engage policymakers and other stakeholders in this endeavour, and to learn from each other’s perspectives.

Technologies are driven not only by innovation, but by values that promote or inhibit these innovations. The more a technology changes and potentially impacts society, the more crucial are ethical debates that accompany it. The debate on nuclear energy has not been shaped by technical arguments only and the transition to digitalization is not only a matter of technology and business models, it is rather changing different areas of life based on visions of efficiency. Nevertheless, what are the socio-technical consequences of smart homes, tele-health and care, real-time global networking, big data and social networking? How is ethics developing for value-driven technologies?

At the 4th European TA Conference, value-driven technologies from smart grids to wearables, from autonomous driving to men-machine interactions, from robotics to bio-economy, from food security to ageing and wellbeing will be in the focus of attention. We ask about methods that allow us to reflect on the governance structures of technological innovations: What role does society play in the design of new technologies? Which new approaches to co-creation are subject of investigation in scientific disciplines?

The Bratislava conference will continue to strengthen the successful tradition of three international TA conferences held in Prague 2013, in Berlin 2015 and in Cork 2017. The former two conferences made an important contribution to the main objective of the EU project “Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment” (PACITA), which was to expand TA across Europe.

The Bratislava conference is organized within the GlobalTA network by the Slovak Academy of Sciences SAS (Slovakia), in collaboration with the Institute of Technology Assessment ITA-ÖAW (Austria), the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis ITAS/KIT (Germany) and the Technology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences TC CAS (Czech Republic).

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