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Research and scientific advice in the second modernity: Technology assessment, responsible research and innovation, and sustainability research

Grunwald, Armin ORCID iD icon 1
1 Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


The scientific and technological advance has been a major driving force of modernization for centuries. However, the 20th century was full of indications and diagnoses of a deep crisis of modernity. Currently, debates on limits to growth, pollution, and climate change indicate the serious and threatening lack of sustainability of the so-called ‘first modernity’. This crisis of modernity has motivated scholars to develop concepts of modernizing modernity, with the approach of a ‘reflexive modernization’ to reach a ‘second modernity’ being prominent. In this paper, Technology Assessment (TA), Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), and Sustainability Research (SR) are regarded as manifestations of this reflexive modernization in the field of problem-oriented and transformative research. The paper aims to (a) unfold the hypothesis regarding TA, RRI, and SR as scientific approaches within reflexive modernization, (b) clarify the respective meaning of ‘reflexive’ in these approaches, (c) identify commonalities as well as differences between the three approaches, and (d) draw conclusions for the relation and further development of TA, RRI, and SR.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000138682
Veröffentlicht am 06.10.2021
DOI: 10.3390/su131810406
Zitationen: 3
Web of Science
Zitationen: 3
Zitationen: 3
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2071-1050
KITopen-ID: 1000138682
Erschienen in Sustainability (Switzerland)
Verlag MDPI
Band 13
Heft 18
Seiten 10406
Schlagwörter modernization; risk society; reflexivity; anticipation; inclusion; responsibility; unintended effects
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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