818110 Bio- and Nanotechnology – Introduction to technology assessment

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


The lecture introduces the objectives, methods and criteria of technology assessment. In this regard particularly the early, i.e. prospective, assessment of risks is of paramount importance. On the basis of exemplary impact models, possibilities for risk assessment, the weighting of risks and risk management are presented. The question of how to deal with non-knowledge will be addressed as well. Options for provision and for the implementation of the precautionary principle complement the program. In addition, besides examples in the field of bio- and nanotechnology, the new qualities of current developments in biotechnology (most notably gene drives) are to be investigated by comparative technology assessment.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

How can risks be identified at an early stage? How can they be avoided? The lecture will provide an insight into the possibilities for answering this question. Graduates should be enabled to critically reflect technological potentials and to develop an understanding of the abilities as well as the problems of prospective technology assessment. They are introduced into the application of the most important methods of risk assessment and risk management. Additionally, due to the search and evaluation of scientific literature, competencies in dealing with literature databases and the qualitative and quantitative analysis of research areas are acquired.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.