TA-SWISS, Center for Technology Assessment
TA-SWISS makes great efforts to address fields of technology and their application
which are considered by public opinion to be controversial. In particular, TA-SWISS
looks into the three subject areas "Life Sciences & Health", "Nanotechnology" and "Information
Society". Questions on the impact of a technology
on the environment, business, politics, human health etc. are taken up just
as are those questions on the ethical implications of technical change.
The TA-SWISS publications and events are directed not only towards decision-makers
in politics, science, business and administration but also towards the general
public as a whole. Then, basically, unbiased and well-balanced information presented
in this way should contribute at an early stage to putting the people and institutions
who play a decisive role into the picture on the possible effects to be expected
of a new technical development - and on which consequences are to be expected
when this technology is not used.
In 1991, the Federal Council and Parliament decided that the Swiss Science
Council should create a Swiss model for the assessment of the consequences of
technology (TA, Technology Assessment). In 1996, the TA-Programme was able to
start work on its second four-year work-period. In government plans for the
promotion of education, research and technology for the years 2000 - 2003, the
mandate of TA-SWISS and its institutional integration are described as follows:
"The continuation of technology assessment should - with an improved
organisation - be assured for the next promotion period. We suggest (...)
that TA be institutionalized and become an independent unit answering to the
Swiss Science and Technology Council. The TA-Programme will have the job of
fulfilling the following tasks:
- Provide not only the general public and parliament but also the researchers
themselves with decision aids for the assessment of the effects of scientific
research and technological development (TA studies);
- Accompany research promoted by the Confederation from the TA point of
- Ensure objectivity in the socio-political discussion on the positive and
negative effects of scientific research and technological developments -
and also on their omission - even in the pre-political stage;
- Take over the role of a contact point and clearing-house for related and
similar institutions at home or abroad."
Over the period 2004–2007 TA-SWISS plans to carry on its work, continually rounding off its programme by putting together recommendations and “good practices”.
Source: Statement on the Promotion of Education, Research and Technology, 2004–2007
Since the 1st January 2008, TA-SWISS is a Center of Competence of The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.
Activities since 2004:
- PubliForum on the research on the human being
- PubliTalk on the cancer research
- Public Reactions to Nanotechnology in Switzerland
- publifocus "eHealth and the electronic patient file"
- study "Emancipation of the computer"
- study "Anti-Aging Medicine: Myths and Chances"
- study "Indicator-based decision-making systems"
List all projects
Director: Dr. Sergio Bellucci
Center for Technology Assessment
Tel: +41-31-310 99 60
Fax: +41-31-310 99 61