The project evaluates the discourse projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the period 2004-2012. These projects aim to advance the social discourse on ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) in the field of life sciences. More specifically, the intention is to establish lines of communication between the scientific community and the general public; to fashion an inclusive discussion of the positive and negative effects of research in the life sciences and to enable people to participate in such discourses (training) and to strengthen the communication between science and the general public. To achieve these objectives, projects to develop innovative (discourse) methods are being funded as are specific application projects, above all with young people and young adults.

The evaluation aims to analyse the visibility and effects of the funded discourse projects and to formulate conclusions and recommendations based on this that contribute to further developing the state funding in the field of ELSA (ethical, legal, social aspects) in the life sciences.

Literature and document analysis, analysis of internet websites, online surveys of the project coordinators, expert workshop, interviews with selected multiplicators.




  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research


  • IHS – Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria