The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) investigates scientific and technological developments with a focus on their impacts and possible systemic and unintended effects. It produces analytical knowledge and assessments of socio-technical developments in order to provide policy and design options for decision-makers. The research covers ethical, ecological, economic, social, political-institutional, and cultural questions. Major goals are advice for research and technology policy, provision of knowledge for the design of socio-technical systems, and the organization and observation of discursive processes on open and controversial questions of technology policy. ITAS is involved in conceptualizing RI and is working on several RI projects. Armin Grunwald is working on issues of responsibility in fields of new and emerging sciences and technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

VIRI Associate Director Armin A. Grunwald is professor of ethics and philosophy of technology and director of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Founding member

Selected RRI Publications

Grunwald, Armin. 2013. "Responsible Research and Development: Roles of Ethicists on the Laboratory Floor." In Ethics on the Laboratory Floor, eds. Simone van der Burg and Tsjalling Swierstra. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 38-56.


Grunwald, Armin. 2012. Responsible Nanobiotechnology: Philosophy and Ethics. Singapore: Panstanford Publishing.


Grunwald, Armin. 2012. "Synthetic Biology: Moral, Epistemic and Political Dimensions of Responsibility." In Proceed with Caution? Concept and Application of the Precautionary Principle in Nanobiotechnology, eds. Rainer Paslack, Johann S. Ach, Beate Lüttenberg, and Klaus-Michael Weltring. Münster: LIT, 243 – 259.


Ferrari, Arianna, Christopher Coenen, and Armin Grunwald. 2012. "Visions and Ethics in Current Discourse on Human Enhancement." Nanoethics 6 (3): 215-229. doi: 10.1007/s11569-012-0155-1 


Grunwald, Armin. 2009. "Technology Assessment: Concepts and Methods." In Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences. Vol. 9 of The Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, eds. Anthonie W.M. Meijers, Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard, and John Woods. Amsterdam: North Holland, 1103-1146.

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VIRI is supported by the National Science Foundation under collective agreement #1257246