EPTA Conference 2011 in Berlin
As holder of the EPTA presidency 2011 TAB and the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the German Bundestag have the pleasure to host the annual EPTA conference. On October 20, 2011, renowned representatives of science and politics will discuss on »Hope-, Hype- and Fear-Technologies – the Role of Science and Politics«.
Hope, hype and fear are the attributes of a very heterogeneous group of technologies. They are believed to have the potential to solve global problems (hope), they are associated with far-reaching visions of the future and with overreaching expectations (hype), and because of their impacts that are difficult to foresee and even less to control, they raise concerns no matter whether they are well founded or not (fear). Therefore, these technologies attract a high degree of public and political attention.
Fears and expectations in the public, business activities to assure interests and influence in emerging business areas, contradictory messages of the scientific communities as well as exaggerated media coverage of scientific findings on opportunities and risks in many cases result in serious pressure on decision makers who have to take action and to shape the development of these technologies in spite of but also because of a precarious knowledge base and diffuse interests.
At the EPTA conference three exemplary cases will be explored: Nanotechnology, Internet and Cyberdemocracy as well as Geo-/Climate Engineering. The key questions focused on the political strategies in Europe are: How do agenda setting processes proceed, which political strategies are employed to tackle the problems, how does the interaction between science and politics progress, and what part do media and societal discourses play?