Selection of topics and implementation of projects
TA-SWISS observes and follows topics that could be considered for possible projects. Should this result in concrete proposals, these are discussed internally by experts. If the decision is taken to pursue a topic further, a proposal will then be made for a project. The TA-SWISS Steering Committee decides whether a project will be implemented as proposed.
If the project involves a study, this is put out to public tender. The tenders are checked on receipt and the Steering Committee decides which project group will be granted the mandate. A supervisory group is put together for each project, made up of specialists in various disciplines and with responsibility for the quality of the project. Before the results are published, the final report on the study has to be adopted by the Steering Committee.
Participative projects are implemented by the persons responsible for the project without an external project group. Project procedures, quality assurance and decision-making processes are otherwise the same as for a study. TA-SWISS projects are partly supported by publicly funded institutions such as federal offices or by individual science academies.
Project reports are published in the form of books, reports or as downloads. Abridged versions or information sheets are also published in several languages if required. The results of projects are announced to the public at media conferences or in press releases. Events serve not only to announce results, but also encourage members of society to join in the dialogue, especially in the case of controversial topics. Recommendations are communicated selectively to politicians, experts in the scientific and administrative fields and interested members of the general public.
For more about procedures at TA-SWISS go to: TA-SWISS presentation
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The studies are carried out in close cooperation with experts from a great variety of disciplines. The expert group’s composition varies according to the subject treated. Its approach being interdisciplinary, the investigated themes can include technical, ethical, social, economical, ecological, legal, as well as political aspects.
Participative processes enable the gathering of citizens’ opinions and arguments on controversial themes related to technology.
The methods used to assess the consequences of technology are also evaluated periodically. Moreover, projects and discussions on this subject are carried out within the European network of TA institutions.
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