The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Technological Development (ZIT) is a research institution of the TU Dresden Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. It studies issues in technology development that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Interdisciplinary cooperation has become a necessity in modern research. Many technological and social problems require interdisciplinary problem solving — integrating technological, policy, ethical, and legal aspects of scientific expertise. Interdisciplinary cooperation has also become a source of methodological and theoretical innovations within the different disciplines — affording many important scientific advances that were otherwise impossible.

The central purpose of interdisciplinary technology research and -assessment lies within recognising and evaluating technological development within its complex, interwoven societal and natural context, and in drafting possibilities for technology development that are feasible for humanity and environment alike.

To that end, the ZIT aims at facilitating cooperation of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technology sciences, and human sciences in research as well as in teaching.

Issues covered by the ZIT comprise:

  • the history, function and structure of technology — both as a tangible system and a cultural object
  • the social genesis of technology and its impacts on personality, society, and nature
  • the risk potentials arising from creating and using technology, and the scientification of these risk potentials
  • the evaluation of options, norms, and general principles of future technology development

Above that, an important task of the ZIT lies in advancing academic communication across the boundaries of disciplinary cultures.