IHS offers social scientific and economic expertise in areas that are of crucial and lasting importance for maintaining a thriving society in Austria and Europe: continuing and expanding prosperity, efficient public services, and democratic legitimacy of socio-political decisions. Since 2018, the IHS has formed three focal areas of research extending to “Economics, Markets and Governance”, “Polarization versus Cohesion in Society” and “Innovation and Societal Change” – these have been redefined in order to further structure the research and to better meet the current social challenges. The priorities relate to the topics covered by the research units established at IHS, and provide points of intersection between those; ongoing research projects are also contributing to these priorities. The priorities aim at deepening the interdisciplinary expertise within the Institute. The IHS regularly hosts workshops, seminars and scientific events, which are open to partners and clients. For more than 50 years now, the IHS remains a center for economic and social science research and is a place where a lively scientific discourse ensues.
The research group “Techno-Science and Societal Transformation” investigates the mutual interdependency of science/technology and society as well as the societal preconditions, possibilities and limitations to govern related issues. We conduct empirical research on emerging and/or contested research and technologies linked, e.g., to health, beginning- and end-of-life situations or security and surveillance, especially focusing on their societal impacts. Besides, we monitor emerging technologies and work on the concepts and empirical basis of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Innovation. We build on a longstanding experience with international and national research projects on ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) of life sciences, RRI, citizen participation in R&I, and the role of experts and policymakers in R&I policy.