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Schlögelgasse 2
8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43/316/813909-0
Fax: +43/316/813909-11


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 'The good life' - critical reflections on current sustainability discourses

In the course of the series of events entitled "30 Years of Responsible Research at the IFZ", the next event will be dedicated to the topic: 'The Good Life' - Critical reflections on current sustainability discourses"

Time and place: Thursday, July 12, 2018, 5 to 8 pm, IFZ, Schlögelgasse 2, 2nd floor, 8010 Graz

A sustainable lifestyle should be healthy, protect the environment, and provide economic benefits, but when such a 'good life' looks like, why not go mainstream? Where are the points of criticism and why is it still worth striving anyway?

In an interactive workshop we want to illuminate and discuss the 'good life' from various perspectives. First, three short lectures (about 15 min each) will introduce these three aspects of the good life:

Anita Thaler (IFZ Graz, AG Queer STS) and Magdalena Wicher (IHS Vienna, AG Queer STS) will moderate the workshop and introduce the topic "The good life: mental health and sustainability".

David Steinwender (co-founder of Transition Graz and Forum Urbanes Gärtnern) will highlight the socio-economic perspectives of the current sustainability discourse.

Edith Zitz (Management inspire with focus on diversity, 1995-2010 member of the Landtag in Styria) - from practice: on the role of social justice in sustainable life.

As there are only a limited number of seats available for this event, we kindly ask you to register by e-mail no later than 27th June 2018:

We look forward to your / your coming!



Kick-off event on "30 Years of Responsible Research at the IFZ"

The series of events entitled "30 Years of Responsible Research at the IFZ" started on July 7 with exciting introductory lectures by Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Jürgen Suschek-Berger. The theme of the first event in this series was "At the People's Focus - Subtle Incentives for Sustainable Mobility".
Elisabeth Oberzaucher explained the topic from a behavioral psychological perspective: the human need for individual distance in public transport? What design must these have, so that the passengers feel well? From a psychological point of view, what incentives ("nudges") are needed to get public transport accepted?
Jürgen Suschek-Berger supplemented these aspects with a sociological view of the topic, based on the assumption that the possibility of being mobile is synonymous with the possibility of social participation in social life. Following the keynote speeches, around 20 participants enthusiastically discussed a wide range of topics related to sustainable mobility and the related challenges and possible solutions.



At the heart of human being - subtile incentives for sustainable mobility

The kick-off event in the context of the series of events "30 Years of Responsible Research at the IFZ" is dedicated to the topic:  At the heart of human being - subtile incentives for sustainable mobility.

Time and place: Thursday, June 7, 2018, 5 to 7 pm, IFZ, Schlögelgasse 2, 2nd floor, 8010 Graz

As an introduction to the topic, there will be keynote by Dr. Elisabeth Oberzaucher (zoologist and anthropologist, staff member of the IFZ, visiting professor at the University of Ulm, member of the science cabaret group "Science Busters") and Mag. Jürgen Suschek-Berger (sociologist, director of the IFZ and the research area "Energy and Climate") and afterwards the opportunity for exchange and discussion.

Since we only have a limited number of seats available for this event, we kindly ask you to register by May 28, 2018 at the latest by e-mail:

We are looking forward to your coming!



STS Conference Graz 2018 - Thank you!

In cooperation with the TU Graz, Science, Technology and Society Unit and the IAS-STS the conference offered the oportunity to present and dicuss a broad spectrum on themes in the area of digitalization of society, gender, technology and environment, sustainable food systems, life sciences/biotechnologies and much more. About 200  reseachers from all over the world presented their work in this fields with a specific focus on critical issues in science, technology and society.

Many thanks to all who contributed to the sucess of this event!



30 years of responsible research at the IFZ - celebrate with us!

The IFZ is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a series of events. We cordially invite cooperation partners and cooperation partners as well as interested parties. Details about the events will follow, but please make sure to book the dates that are interesting for you.
During the summer months, smaller events take place at the IFZ on Thursday, 5 pm-8pm (Schlögelgasse 2, 2nd floor):

June 7, "In the center the human being - subtle incentices for sustainable mobilty
July 12, "The good life" - Critical reflections on current sustainability discourses
August 2, "Blind spots in the discussion on green public procurement"
September 6: „Bodies & Technologies“ – Queer perspectives on body and technologies
October 24, "Food supply as a sociopolitical instrument?" - As a current example of 30 year of responsible research at the IFZ.(Schlögelgasse 2, 5pm. The ceremony will begin with a keynote and discussion).

Please register at
Since we have only a limited number of seats available for the Thursday events, we kindly ask you to register by e-mail at least 2 weeks before the event. Thank you!



“Mind the R&I gap”: RRI in Response to Big Challenges

On March 27th 2018, the final conference of the EU project FoTRRIS took place in Brussels, where cooperative and responsible research (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) about the “grand challenges” (like climate change) was in the focus.

In the conference the diverse RRI-experiments of all project partner organisations have been discussed around the topics of renewable energies, refugees, women with disabilities, local economy, sustainable food systems and material scarcity. A main project outcome is the institutionalisation of RRI in all partner organisations by means of support units, which facilitate the realisation of RRI activities. Based on FoTRRIS experiences on responsible research and a long-standing expertise in trans-disciplinary research, within the coming weeks an „RRI-Unit“ will be launched at the IFZ as well.

FoTRRIS also compiled a practical guidance on how to co-create RRI projects. This “Cookbook ” describes the basic ingredients and procedures for a 5-course meal of RRI.

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



STS Conference Graz 2018

In less than six weeks - from 7 to 8 May - the STS Conference Graz 2018 will once again welcome numerous scientists in Graz who are interested in aspects of science and technology research.

Keynote speakers of this year's conference are:
Waltraud ERNST, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Women's and Gender Studies
Maximilian FOCHLER, University of Vienna, Department of Science and Technology Studies
Alexander PASSER, Graz University of Technology Graz, Working Group Sustainable Construction, Institute of Technology and Testing of Construction Materials

Online registration is possible until the end of April.



Call for Abstracts: Queering Diversity

Lisa Scheer, Anita Thaler (AG Queer STS), and guest-editor Daniela Jauk ask you to submit abstracts for the third "Queer-Feminist Science and Technology Studies Forum" (  online journal about:
“Queering Diversity” – In Search of the Queer and the Class in Academia and Research. 

Abstracts should have 250 words max. and should be sent until April 6th 2018 to Anita.Thaler(at) You will then receive feedback until May 1st. Accepted contributions (papers, videos, etc.) should be ready by June 30th 2018 and sent to the editors. The third volume of the Queer-Feminist STS Forum will be published by December 31st 2018.

Here, you can read more details about the call for contributions:



STS Conference Graz 2018 - Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts has been extended until January 29, 2018.
10 more days to submit abstracts dealing with critical issues in science, technology and society. Details about the special sessions and the conference can be found on



Social Gender Justice in Science and Research

In the IFZ project GenderTime , Jennifer Dahmen and Anita Thaler published a book about Social Gender Justice in Science and Research (Soziale Geschlechtergerechtigkeit in Wissenschaft und Forschung ), which has now been reviewed by the German radio programme „Lesart" of the „Deutschlandfunk Kultur“, listen here to the podcast.



kidskids4wearables - kick off meeting in Traunkirchen

Over the next two years, children and adolescend from the Salzkammergut and scientists will get to the bottom of the innovation field Wearables - and develop their own prototypes. Five schools, three research institutes, one regional large-scale enterprise and one artist have won the cooperation of the International Academy Traunkirchen for the project "kids4wearables - pupils develop intelligent fashion". Financed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the starting signal was given for the two-year project.
At kids4wearables, fashion is the main theme of interest for children and adolescents in order to make the innovation topic of Wearable Technologies accessible, allowing the students involved to gain insights into RTI (research, technology & innovation) and thereby become inventive themselves. During the next two years of school, they will discover research learning techniques and develop ideas for wearables together with their scientific and business partners. In the end, there will be a research festival in which the children and young people involved in the project present their ideas on the catwalk. But other interested kids can also present their ideas there: Educators can apply for a co-subsidy of 1,000 euros at the International Academy Traunkirchen for the implementation of their own small project in the class. Participating in the project are the elementary schools Traunkirchen and Gmunden-Stadt, the new secondary schools Altmünster and Gmunden-Stadt, the village school Rubenshof, the Lenzing AG, artist Gertraude Stüger, from the JKU the Institute for Pervasive Computing under the direction of Univ. Prof. Alois Ferscha and the Department of Soft Matter Physics of Univ. Prof. Siegfried Bauer, and from Graz the Inter-University Research Center for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ).



Successful networking event of the Austrian science ministry in Graz

About 60 persons from academia, economy, education and practice came together on November 15th 2017 in Graz to discuss at a workshop organised by IFZ: “Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI): What does responsibility mean practically for research and innovation?“

The beginning of the event – initiated by RRI Plattform Austria – made Michael Strähle from Science Shop Vienna , who explained origins, definitions and conflicts of the concept. He explained how the academic regime must change systematically if RRI would be implemented consequently. „RRI is not so much a model than an attitude one is developing!“, Strähle emphasised.

The second talk by Johanna Breuer (University Vienna) told about a practical example of RRI. The starting point of the presented research project is the fact that 49% of all Austrians (80% of all Austrians over 60 years) are taking medication regularly. From the standpoint of RRI these persons concerned are seen as experts of taking medication and developing strategies, therefore they are included in the research process about medication-use.

After that, the participants discussed how current research could be done responsibly and which challenges can occur, in the realm of Genome Editing, Climate Engineering, Possibilities and Limits IT-Design, and Research with Children and Youth.

Event gleaning



STS Conference Graz, May 7-8, 2018 - Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies

Der Call for Sessions has been extended until November 18, 2017.

All Details regarding the Call and the Conference can be found at:



Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice - What does responsible research and innovation mean in practice?15.11.2017, Graz 

This event will be organised by the RRI Platform Austria with the support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and the Economy. The event addresses the public and private sector research and innovation community as well as people from the public, who are interested in discussions around the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in various thematic contexts. In addition to plenary lectures and good practice examples, working groups will be held, which will offer the opportunity to discuss with experts and participants about questions such as "What does RRI mean for different working and research contexts?" and "How can RRI be implemented in practice?".
Further Details: Program  
For organisational reasons registration is requested by 10 November 2017. Participation is free!

Organisation: IFZ – Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture. Contact:



IFZ-enclosure on future topics

IFZ members met in order to discuss the future topics and activities of the institute. Which overriding and cross-cutting priorities in the fields of technology, science and sustainability research can play a common role alongside the content of the research areas? And how can they find their place in the everyday work of the insitute in addition to proven formats such as Brown Bag Sessions, lecture series or conferences?



Call for Sessions - STS Conference Graz 2018

The Call for Sessions for the STS Conference Graz 2018 (7th - 8th of May), will be open from 1/9/2017 - 31/10/2017.

All details regarding the call and the conference can be found on:



Book Release:
How Genes Matter. Genetic Medicine as Subjectivisation Practices

Understanding the significance of genetic factors for our lives requires an analysis that goes beyond biological aspects. It is especially necessary to take into account how human beings relate to others and to themselves. Who we are is a result of social action and the ways in which human beings constitute themselves as subjects. Seen from this perspective, genetic medicine is a social practice that shapes how we think about us, how we conduct our behaviour and how we care for our children. This book scrutinises practices by which individuals become knowledgeable about their genes and constitute them as responsible decision makers.



RRI-experiment of IFZ validated by experts

To validate the RRI transition experiment of FoTRRIS in Austria, the IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler and Magdalena Wicher) organised an expert workshop in Graz.
Eight Austrian RRI experts came on 12th of July and discussed key learnings on the concrete co-RRI experiment on sustainable food systems, and more generally how the ‘RRIness’ of the Austrian R&I system could be enhanced. In addition, the question was asked how RRI could be better anchored in the Austrian research landscape. In the next step, scenarios are developed which are intended to show possible ways of establishing RRI.



Think-Tank within the project Modelling Health. Human Technology Interface statt

On July, 5, 2017, the IFZ (Marinta Lang und Bernhard Wieser) in cooperation with its project-partner, Meduni Graz, organized a Think Tank, were experts from medical discipline, home nursing care, E-health and Ambient Assisted Living technologies got together. The event was part of the Modelling Health. Human Technology Interface project, supported by the Zukunftsfonds Steiermark. The aim of the project is to collect concepts and possible solutions for “medical avatars”. These “virtual health twins” enable real time representations of physiological processes in people.

During the Workshop, experts were discussing potentials, possible solutions and additional values of medical avatars in the field of gerontology and geriatrics, mainly for maintaining the autonomy of elderly care at home (of elderly people in health care settings).

The wide range of interesting ideas are the basis for the creation of video simulations that will be used as inputs for further focus-group meetings in autumn.



How can research interests of teenagers be used to raise their technological competence? How can gender stereotypes in technology-learning be avoided and diversity-sensitive teaching enabled? Anita Thaler focused on these questions in her talk at the Young Science-Network-Meeting about "Doing Gender in Young Citizen Science" at 26th of June 2017 in Vienna.

Anita Thaler emphasized in her talk about the Sparkling Science pilot project „Engineer Your Sound!” that “an informed approach of de-dramatizing gender“ is key for gender just technology didactics .

© Young Science / Lydia Steinmassl



On June 7th the fourth of a whole workshop series took place, where stakeholders work with researchers on relevant research questions, with the aim to produce socially relevant knowledge and responsible innovations.

The IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) established a Community of Practice (CoP) with local farmers, entrepreneurs, research and policy experts, as well as actors from the alternative food scene to work on innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system in the Graz area. The participants of this CoP met regularly as a group, but also bilateral and go on communicating via e-mail, phone and also now with a web platform (in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS ).

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



What if coding was a way to solve your problems? What if coding was so simple; you would understand how to do it intuitively? What if computer codes were not binary, but rather fluid like life itself? What if . . . ?
Anita Thaler gave a presentation at the Open Commons symposium in Linz to reflect on a queer-feminist understanding of coding, which she developed with her colleague Magdalena Wicher. Their queer-feminist code for teaching digital competence is based on three ideas: First, educating children and young people in coding should aim at making them competent in solving their everyday problems in terms of building fundamental competences in an emancipatory educational tradition (Oskar Negt 1998). Second, coding should be accessible for everybody, thus also ‘educationally disadvantaged’ young people should be in clear focus. Third, coding itself should be thought radically different, to open up new ways of thinking and open up new opportunities.
The presentation can be watched here (German video).


Jennifer Dahmen and Anita Thaler kicked the second STS conference day off with a keynote on ‘Social Gender Justice in Science and Research’. Designed as discussion between both of the speakers, they claimed that an intersectional approach is necessary for understanding all aspects of social gender (in)justice in science and research, which implies that even with achieved gender equality academia would remain unjust. A constant exchange of research staff is for instance in Germany even supported and wanted by University law, thus it builds a base for legitimate political but not social behaviour.

New paradigms like RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) offer chances for a structural change in academic institutions but cannot simply be implemented without considering and reflecting the consequences of the individuals in the system. Dahmen and Thaler referred to their new published book , which is available open access in an online version.

In the afternoon, in addition to the keynote speech, a double session with six papers was devoted to different aspects of social gender justice in academia. Inka Greusing (Technical University of Berlin/Germany) was first to present results from her PhD thesis, which showed how hetero-normativity is still (re)produced in the discourse of gender equality and justice in the engineering field. Based on the interview results with 25 female PhD students in engineering Veronika Paksi (Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest/Hungary) showed that the uncertain labour market opportunities and the male-dominated organisational culture heavily affect their childbearing-related decisions especially in the private sector. Andrea Wolffram (RWTH Aachen/Germany) explained how the subjectivity of committee members influences “excellence evaluations” in appointment procedures for professors. Marita Haas (Vienna Technical University/Austria) and Helene Schiffbänker (Joanneum Research/Austria) investigated in their research, how independence is constructed in specific promotion and grant selection process for young researchers and whether this is done differently for female and male scientists. By means of an interview study in the natural sciences (chemistry and geology), Susanne Kink’s (AG Queer STS, IFZ Graz/Austria) paper contributed to uncovering the implicit mechanisms of masculinity and privilege and highlighted possible obstacles on the way to the top of academia, especially in natural sciences. The last paper was given by Angela Wroblewski (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna/Austria), who claimed in her presentation that a reflexive approach is necessary for overcoming the still persisting gender segregation in some fields of science and academic leadership.

The session was concluded by a panel discussion with four experts on gender (in-) equalities in science and research from the U.S., Portugal and Austria. Based on the main question "How to overcome social gender injustice in academia and research?", possible strategies for changing academia into a work place with an inclusive and creative environment for diverse employees 



The 16th STS Conference Graz - "Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies" took place in Graz from 8 to 9 May 2017. This year's focus on "Social Justice in Science, Technology and Environ- mental Issues" was presented by 120 participating scientists from over 20 nations in lectures as well as in workshops.

We would like to thank all the participants who contributed to the success of this conference!

Impressions (Fotocredits:stsconfgraz) of this year´s conference.



How can research be thought differently? How can societal problems be solved with social innovations? Questions like these are analysed in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus.

Since March, IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) organises a workshop series, where stakeholders work with researchers on relevant research questions, with the aim to produce socially relevant knowledge and responsible innovations. Therefore on April 7th local farmers, entrepreneurs, research and policy experts, as well as actors from the alternative food scene met met again to work on innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



After twenty years of research on the subject of food, the IFZ has set up a new research area for sustainable food supply systems - Food Systems for short. Sandra Karner, long-time research associate and ombudswoman of the IFZ, will take over as head of this department. In an interview , Sandra Karner explains the emergence of the research area as to why transdisciplinarity is so important and how, through policy and practice in an RRI project (Responsible Research and Innovation), the aim is to make food supply more sustainable in Graz.



Local farmers, entrepreneurs, policy experts and actors from the alternative food scene met on March 16th and worked together with an IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) on a vision for 2022 towards a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

This was the second Austrian workshop in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus. While the first workshop broached the issues of by which measures the food system in Graz could be optimised and their feasibility, the participants decided now upon four most important topics, which will be discussed further with more stakeholders from April on.
If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



Magdalena Wicher represented the IFZ on the 4th of March at the Art & Feminism Edit-a-thon which was part of the programme of the Elevate Festivals , where she gave an input on Gender & Queer Theory in Science and Technology Studies. As part of the Open Data Day, explicitly feminists and people with all gender identities were invited to this editing marathon to contribute to a better visibility of women and LGBTTIQ-people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual and queer) in Wikipedia and Wikidata. Through the depiction of feminist, queer and gender topics, which are researched at the IFZ and within the working group QueerSTS , the commonalities of the research activities and the work of the participants of the edit-a-thon could be displayed, e.g. regarding the democratization of education, access to online resources and equality and social participation and inclusion of all people .



We welcome Martina Lang to the IFZ Team. Martina Lang will be working in the research unit "Modern Biotechnology". She will be primarly concerned with the theme „Healthy Aging_Assisted Living“. In this computer-based health technologies of the future are analyzed for their social acceptance towards.

© Fotostudio Seifert



On February 15 the first of a series of workshops took place at IFZ, where committed stakeholders from policy, farms, research, and alternative food scene work together to create a more sustainable and social just food system in the area of Graz.

Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler and Magdalena Wicher organise and moderate this workshops in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where the cooperative and responsible research (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) about the “grand challenges” (like climate change) is in the focus.

The first workshop broached the issues of the current system (David Steinwender presented a study “Graz feeds itself”) and by which measures and ideas the food system in Graz could be optimised. Finally the ideas where mapped according to their feasibility. If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .


21/10/ 2016

Fellowship Programme 2017/2018: Applications to the Fellowship Programme 2017/2018 can be submitted by December 31, 2016, via email or postal mail.

Read more >>>



On 22 of August 2016 Dr. Anita Thaler (head of research unit „women – technology – environment“) gave a key note speech at this year’s ditact_women‘s IT summer university ( ) in Salzburg. her talk was titled „Das Paradoxon der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien: Von allen genutzt, von zu wenigen studiert?“ (The Paradoxon of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Used by everybody, but studied by too few?). Thaler discussed the facts that only 13% of ICT university degrees are hold by women, but only 2.6% of all university degrees are ICT degrees. So the main question of the talk was: Why do young people consider ICT not attractive as a study major?

Presentation slides



EU-Project GPP2020: 113 public tenders led to savings of 900.000 t CO2

GPP 2020 aimed to mainstream low-carbon procurement across Europe in support of the EU’s goals to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020. To this end, GPP 2020 implemented 113 low-carbon tenders, which resulted in substantial CO₂ savings.

The Austrian project partners were the Federal Procurement Agency and the IFZ. Tender Models were developed for 11 low carbon tenders of the Federal Procurement Agency. The Tender Models offer information about savings of GHG and energy that due to the environmental criteria of the tenders. For more information, please see the projects website .



Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths

Anita Thaler was invited by the Austrian Ministry for Families and Youth to give a presentation and hold a workshop about „Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths“. Main topics were gender identity, gender roles, educational paths of young people, the influence factor gender, and the question how children and teenagers can find their vocation beyond gender roles and expectations.

In her presentation Anita Thaler explained psychological, sociological and media-pedagogical theories and gave practical examples.

In the workshop participants could reflect their own biographies and learn more about the topic and didactical methods how to present the topic in their own adult education practice as parent educators.

The content of the presentation has been published by Anita Thaler for parents‘ educators (German) here.



15th Annual STS Conference „Critical Issues in Science, Technology“

Keynote: Heather Laube (USA)

190 participants from 25 nations - that is the résumé of the STS Conference which took place in Graz from May 9 to 10, 2016. It was organized by the Institute of Science, Technology and Society Studies in cooperation with the IFZ, the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS). 30 sessions were held in which the participants discussed topics such as „Policy and Technology“, „Gender and Queer STS“,  „Responsible Research and Innovation“, „Energy, Mobility and Sustainability“, „Nutrition, Health and Biomedicine“, and „Information and Communication Technologies, Surveillance and Society“.

More information on the conference can be found here:



First volume of the „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“

The working group Queer STS – comprising of current and former colleagues of IFZ (Anita Thaler, Birgit Hofstätter, Daniela Zanini-Freitag, Jenny Schlager, Julian Anslinger, Lisa Scheer, Magdalena Wicher, Susanne Kink, Thomas Berger) has published the first volume of their online-journal „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“, sharing current queer-feminist approaches to science, technology and society studies.

Volume 1 ...


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