The subject-specific qualification for doctoral candidates at the Integrative Graduate Center TechnoScienceStudies (IGC TSS) at the MCTS is based on event formats like the doctoral colloquium and doctoral workshops. – Doctoral Colloquium at the MCTS

The “” doctoral colloquium at the MCTS focuses on current research into the interactions between technology and society. The aim is to present and discuss individual projects in a way that addresses the MCTS guiding principles, “empirical – interdisciplinary – reflexive – dialogic”. The colloquium is held during the semester.

Current Events

Foto: Uli Benz (TUM)

MCTS Doctoral Colloquium


Summer Semester 2020



July 30 & 31, 2020




Melpomeni Antonakaki
Conceptual problems and political uses of the traditional view: The struggle over expert treatment of evidence & testimony in misconduct investigations, and the politics of due-process

Johan Buchholz
Of artificial intelligence, digital assistants and smart factories. The dynamics of digitalization projects in organizations

Oguz Ozkan
High energy physics between infrastructuration and projectification: The case of Laserlab Europe

Tobias Kuttler
Negotiating Spaces of Mobility – Rise and Contestation of the Uber Model in Mumbai

Luise Martina Ruge
Administering innovation & innovating administration – Future from the city laboratory – how the city administrations of Berlin, Dortmund, and Munich imagine their futures through, with and against innovation

Mariya Dzhimova
The Production of the Virtual Reality artwork Palo Alto

Past Events

MCTS Doctoral Colloquium


Winter Semester 2019/20



February 13, 2020


TUM EDU, Marsstraße 20-22 (1st floor)


Amy Claire
Technotransplantation: Critters, Care, and CRISPR-CAS9

Marc Strotmann
The quest for technology in the Neurosciences: A fieldwork in difference in time

Santiago Orrego
Working together. Exploring collaborative encounters between Times Square and I

Claudia Mendes
Of smart lampposts, magic triangles and replication toolkits: economization and laboratization in an EU smart city project

Felix Remter
Resonance devices and going native with social invertebrates

MCTS Doctoral Colloquium


Summer Semester 2019



July 25 & 26, 2019


TUM EDU, Marsstraße 20-22 (1st floor)


Tobias Kuttler
Negotiating Spaces of Mobility – Rise and Contestation of the Uber Model in Mumbai

Sophia Rossmann
Toxic Entanglements. A Situated Analysis Epigenetic Knowledge Production in Environmental Toxicology

Johan Buchholz
Understanding the dynamics of underdetermined change projects in organizations

Melina Antonakaki
Constitutive orders for analyzing scientific credibility struggles. A closer look into a misconduct investigation and its critics

Eriketti Servou
Autonomous driving in the (policy) making – The examples of Munich and Stuttgart

Luca Nitschke
Non-commercial sharing mobilities as potential site for everyday resistance

Felix Remter
Multi-species socio-technical imaginaries in the Varroa-Crisis

Anja Rueß
Co-creating Publics: Living Labs and the Politics of Urban Experimentation

Henning Mayer
Sociality as Code. Inside AI and Social Robotics.

Cansu Gunar-Birdal
Gender and Entrepreneurship: The Case of Co-Living Spaces

Philipp Arms
Criticizing, negotiating, (de)stabilizing – On the complexity of data critiques and their not-so-obvious consequences

Peter Müller
Creating Social Situations

Nina Frahm
Fixing Innovation with Society: Soft Constitutionalism in the New Global Governance of Innovation

Nikolaus Pöchhacker
Rule(s) if Recommendation. Algorithmic power as a mode of ordering.

Laura Voss
Robots Wanted – Dead and/or Alive

MCTS Doctoral Colloquium


Winter Semester 2018/19



February 21 & 22, 2019


TUM EDU, Marsstraße 20-22 (1st floor)


Luise Ruge
Understanding Regional Innovation Cultures

Franziska Sörgel
Engaging the Moral Economy of [Automated Prototypes] or How Emotions Drive Innovation

Carolin Schönewolf
Technology Futures of Autonomous Driving

Michael Clormann
(Re-)connecting Spaces. A Material-Discursive Approach to Earthly Spaceflight

Federica Pepponi
Robotics Innovation Cultures – Prototyping Practices of Co-Creation in Europe

Klara-Aylin Wenten
Work in the Making? On the Role of Experimental Attempts to Reorganize Work

Johanna Kleinert
The Design of Fruit and Vegetables

Silvan Pollozek
Infrastructuring European Migration and Border Control in Greece

David Seibt
Industrial User Configurations: The Introduction of 3D-Printing to the Prosthetics Industry


July 12 & 13, 2018


TUM EDU, Marsstraße 20-22 (1st floor)


Johan Buchholz
“Finally a project which goes according to plan – so far” – how organizations evaluate internal digitalization projects

Eriketti Servou
Investigating the socio-technical transition towards autonomous driving within policy-making arenas. The examples of the metropolitan regions of Munich and Stuttgart

Luca Nitschke
Sharing beyond capitalism? – An exploration into non-commercial mobility sharing Melina Antonakaki Experiments in Compliance and Complicity: unpacking the tensions of Reproducibility

Nina Frahm
Responsible Innovation in Transnational Governance Settings. The Construction of OECD Principles for Responsible Innovation in Neurotechnology

Peter Müller
Hackathons, Creativity, my PhD and other messy things

Carolin Thiem
“It’s about doing something” TechnoCitizenship – governing through the “design of publics”

Pim Peters
“I have no idea what will come out”: on complexity, enactments, and unforeseeable potentialities in the planning of Munich’s roads.

Sandra Lang
Chiral Worlds – STS perspectives on the shifting field of chemistry.

Andrea Geipel
Platform politics vs. Content. How we communicate science on YouTube.

Georgia Samaras The Molecularisation of Social Adversity. Enacting the Epigenetics of Mental Illness in a Psychiatric Research Laboratory

Philipp Arms
Ubiquitous datafication. Regimes of data processing and the struggle for critics.

Claudia Mendes
Improvising a lighthouse – Economisation for collective concerns in an EU smart city project.

Verena Kontschieder
In the Democracy of Controlled Experiments: Exploring the Policy-Innovation-Design Nexus in ‚Policy Labs’.

Julia Klering
Translational Medicine as an answer to an emergency ?!

Nikolaus Pöchhacker
Computing Structures. Socio-Epistemic Con-Figurations of Algorithmic Societies: Impressions from the Development of a Recommender System

Workshops for Doctoral Candidates at the MCTS

In interdisciplinary workshops at the MCTS, doctoral candidates practice and develop important academic research and professionalization skills, examine issues regarding applied research and reflect on academic work with respect to political, economic and public media related aspects.

Current Events

Make & Do – Build & Share – Exploring a New Tool for Better Interaction 

Ursula Caser / Elisabeth Zellmer

When: postponed due to the corona situation



Do you remember LEGO®? Have you ever heard of LEGO®Serious Play® as a tool both efficient and variable in use in order to promote deeper understanding of the (techoscientific) world? The method is based on visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, & tactile modalities and combines perception with sharing, providing all participants with a voice.

Interventions within the framework of scientific-dialogue projects (e.g. public engagement, citizen science, participation, co-creation processes) but also modern teaching require the use of innovative methods. Collaborative, catalytic and visualising methods are particularly suitable and LEGO®Serious Play®  seems to be an extremely adequate tool.

The MCTS acquired this equipment recently; now we call on YOU to explore with us the potential and possibilities in an interactive, dynamic and – so we hope – fun workshop, building with your collaboration a methodological stock of using LEGO®Serious Play® at MCTS. Moreover, this workshop shall provide an insight into participative design processes under the use of this tool and related moderation challenges.


Navigate the internet for texts/projects/videos, etc. that deal with the use of LEGO®Serious Play®. After your inscription we will send you a form to fill in your findings.

Deadline for delivery: 29.4.2020

Assignment (after the course)

Propose three concrete methodological implementations of LEGO®Serious Play®.

  • Use as a part of a class for master students (you choose the topic)
  • Use in a strategy workshop with your project team or working group (you chose the project)
  • Use in a multi-stakeholder environment/meeting.

After the course we will send you a template for the script. Deadline for delivery: 31.5.2020


To enlarge your knowledge of participative methods and to spark your creativity as to the use of LEGO®Serious Play®, please explore the following three collections of participative methods 


We would welcome a large number of participants from the MCTS community: doctoral candidates, postdocs, lecturers, students, student assistants

We think this methodology has huge potential to support all kinds of (research/teaching) projects.

Total time commitment:

15h (for doctoral candidates, who attend the workshop for their doctoral studies: confirmations will be prepared, once individual assignment will be completed)

Workshop language: English


MCTS Theories & Concepts

When & Where: Several meetings throughout the semester

 Date TimeRoom
Session 128 April 20205.30 pm − 8 pmonline
Session 24 May 20202 pm − 6 pmonline or attended (r. 370) depending on situation
Session 328 May 20201 pm − 4 pmonline or attended (r. 270) depending on situation
Session 44 June 20209 am − 1 pmonline or attended (r. 270) depending on situation

Workload: 7,5 hrs per session

Working language: English


The doctoral workshop is designed as a semester-long reading course and provides the opportunity to dig deeper into selected topics and ongoing debates in Science and Technology Studies. Therefore, each session focuses on current topics, theories and methods in various STS research areas, which will be studied and discussed along the pieces of reading mentioned below. The reading course will take place each year onwards, during the summer semester, supporting doctoral candidates in building up a wide base of STS literature.

Agenda and Readings

Session 1, April 28th, 2020, 5.30 pm − 8 pm, online

Matter of Care? Care as theory and practice in STS research (Martha Kenney, Ruth Müller)

In this session, we will discuss conceptual approaches from feminist STS that center care as a conceptual framework as well as a practical commitment for conducting STS research. What might a focus on care as “an affective state, material vital doing [and] an ethico-political commitment” (Puig de la Bellacasa 2011, p.90) imply for the way we work as STS researchers? The reading materials for this session include Maria Puig de la Bellacasa’s seminal text “Matters of care in technoscience” as well as three articles (co-)authored by the course teachers that draw on care in order to reimagine and reorient their own STS research (Müller and Kenney 2014, Atkinson-Graham et al. 2015, Kenney 2019). We offer these readings in order to spark a discussion that connects theory and practice and explores the possibilities and limitations of thinking and doing STS research with and through care.

Obligatory readings:

  • Atkinson-Graham, M., M. Kenney, K. Ladd, C. M. Murray and E. A.-J. Simmonds (2015). “Care in Context: Becoming an STS Researcher.” Social Studies of Science 45(5): 738–748.
  • Kenney, M. (2019). “Fables of Response-ability: Feminist Science Studies as Didactic Literature.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 5(1): 1-39.
  • Müller, R. and M. Kenney (2014). “Agential Conversations: Interviewing Postdoctoral Life Scientists and the Politics of Mundane Research Practices.” Science as Culture 23(4): 537-559.
  • Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2011). “Matters of Care in Technoscience: Assembling Neglected Things.” Social Studies of Science 41(1): 85-106.


Session 2, May 4th, 2020, 2 pm − 6 pm, online or attended (r. 370) depending on situation

Multispecies Studies: More-than-human storytelling (Ursula Münster / via Felix Remter)

What insights and resources might the field of multispecies studies offer for STS scholars? This session will read and discuss two foundational texts that have inspired multispecies scholars from diverse disciplines to engage with more-than-human storytelling in times of ecological crisis and extinction. We will explore the epistemological and methodological possibilities and limits of decentering the human in narratives of our present condition. How to tell multispecies stories in the age of the Capitalocene/ Anthropocene/Chthulucene, where it is clear that survival on Earth depends on a myriad of other-than human species? The session will include a brainstorm about ways in which your own research and writing can contribute to cultivating attentiveness to the ways in which other-than-human beings make their worlds.

Obligatory readings:

  • Despret, Vinciane (2016): Z for Zoophilia: Can horses consent? In: What Would Animals Say if We Asked the Right Questions? Minneapolis: University of Minnessota Press, pp.203-211.
  • Haraway, Donna (2008): Introduction. In: When species meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 3-44.
  • Kirksey, Eben; Helmreich, Stefan (2010): The emergence of Multispecies Ethnography. In Cultural Anthropology 25 (4), pp. 545–576.

Optional Background reading:

  • Despret, Vinciane (2016): What Would Animals Say if We Asked the Right Questions? Minneapolis: University of Minnessota Press.
  • Haraway, Donna (2016): Staying with the trouble. Making kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Tsing, Anna; Swanson, Heather; Gan, Elaine; Bubandt, Nils (Eds.) (2017): Arts of living on a damaged planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • van Dooren, Thom; Kirksey, Eben; Münster, Ursula (2016): Multispecies Studies. In Environmental Humanities 8 (1), pp. 1–23.


Session 3, May 28th, 2020, 1 pm − 4 pm, online or attended (r. 270) depending on situation

Reflecting on Reflexivity (Bernhard Isopp)

A concern with reflexivity has an extensive and branching geneology in social/cultural/critical theory. Early STS adopted it as an explicit guiding principle. As with any concept with a long lineage, it has undergone transformations and has been displayed with greater and lesser degrees of commitment. But in one form or another, it remains crucial/central to various STS approaches. In this session we will try to trace some of this lineage and exploring different conceptions and implications of reflexivity. We will reflect upon and discuss our own commitments to reflexivity and what this means for the ways that we do STS. A central concern here will be the relationships between reflexivity and normativity: what kinds of normative openings or obligations to different kinds or degrees of reflexivity entail?

Obligatory readings:

  • Smith, Adrian, and Andy Stirling. “Moving Outside or Inside? Objectification and Reflexivity in the Governance of Socio-Technical Systems.” Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 9, no. 3–4 (September 1, 2007): 351–73.
  • Woodhouse, Edward, David Hess, Steve Breyman, and Brian Martin. “Science Studies and Activism: Possibilities and Problems for Reconstructivist Agendas.” Social Studies of Science 32, no. 2 (April 1, 2002): 297–319.


Session 4, June 4th, 2020, 9 am − 1 pm, online or attended (r. 270) depending on situation

Analyzing temporalities through the lens of “bricolage” (Zinaida Vasilyeva)

The concept of “bricolage” developed by anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss (1962) has been adopted by many disciplines, ranging from evolutionary biology to organizational studies and to innovation studies. Its application usually signalizes an analysis of processes characterized by improvisation and creative “tinkering” (be it in genetics or in finances), but also by an innovative reuse of the old.

This workshop proposes to revisit the concept of “bricolage” as an analytical tool to approach practices of knowledge production with a particular focus on temporalities. Bricolage is historically contingent and rooted in the local, available here and now. Moreover, bricolage 30is value-laden and, therefore, political. In this reading group, we will discuss how the concept of bricolage is used to analyze technological transformations based on slow and incremental change. In addition to that, we will discuss how this concept and the structuralist binary “bricoleur” versus “ingeneur” inform our understanding of modernity. Please, read both basic texts and one article from the “additional reading” list.

Obligatory readings:

  • Levi-Strauss, C. (1962) The Savage Mind [La Pensée savage], Ch. 1 “The science of the concrete”
  • Johnson, Christopher (2012), “Bricoleur and Bricolage: From Metaphor to Universal Concept”, Paragraph, 35.3, pp. 355-372

Additional reading:

  • MacKenzie, D. & Pardo-Guerra, J. P. (2014) ‘Insurgent capitalism: island, bricolage and the re-making of finance’, Economy and Society, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 153–182. doi: 10.1080/03085147.2014.881597
  • Raghu Garud and Peter Karnøe (2003) “Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship,” Research Policy, 32.2, p. 277-300

Core Topics

Core Topics
Wed 9-10.30, 370Biomedicine & Health – title tbdClare
Wed 2-5, 370Science in a “Post-Truth” WorldIsopp
Thu 9-12.15, 370Ethics of Responsibility: An Introduction to Applied EthicsWernecke
Mon 3-6, 1229Politics, Innovation, and Risks in the Oil & Gas IndustryCuevas
Mon 3-6, 1229Science, Technology, and the CityWentland
mostly on Thu
1-2.30, 370
Law, Science and Technology: Law and Governance of Artificial IntelligenceDjeffal
22./23.4., ZürichDigital MedicineDjeffal
Research Creation: Sensing Extended RealitiesPassoth
Tue 9-12.15, 370Telling Responsible Stories – Telling Stories Responsibly. STS, Technoscience and Narrative Culture.Müller
Thu 3-6, 2408Introduction to Science & Technology Policy (WI001124, WI001172)Pfotenhauer
Fri 8.5. 2-6, 270
Fri 10.7. 9-6, 1229
Project Seminar: Applied Ethics of ResponsibilityWernecke
Tue 1.30-3, 370Urban Natures. Landscapes, Infrastructures, TechnologiesMauch

To obtain a certificate for a doctoral workshop (stating a workload of 30h) requires regular and active preparation & participation; however, not the “examination part” (usually: essay).

Past Events

Advanced Topics in MA STS

From this semester onwards, the Advanced Topics in the MA STS will be open to doctoral candidates. The list of current courses:

Advanced Topics
seminarLiving in NatureCulture: How to Care in the AnthropoceneMüller
seminarInnovation, Society, and Public PolicyPfotenhauer
seminarEthics of Responsibility: Current Areas of ApplicationWernecke
seminarAT: Media & Digital CulturesPassoth
seminarGlobal Histories of TechnologyMauch, Esselborn
seminarSpaces of Participation – Participatory SpacesSchikowitz

To obtain a certificate for a doctoral workshop (stating a workload of 30h) requires regular and active preparation & participation; however, not the “examination part” (usually: essay).


Research Practice & the GDPR

with Helmut Hönigmayer (IHS Vienna) on data protection regulations

When: Friday 6 December, 10:00-13:00
Where: Seminar Room 270
For Whom: interested PhD candidates, Master Students, PostDocs

The workshop will discuss your practical issues with research practice and data management in an open and reflexive way with an expert on data management regulations and data protection issues. We will share experiences, problems and possible coping strategies, considering the diverse research contexts. The workshop will be split in three different parts:

  1. Introduction and basics of GDPR for research: relevant aspects, legal basics and research ethics.
  2. Discussing practical examples of participants
  3. More open reflection of the topic

For the second part of the workshop, the participants have the opportunity to discuss their own research. I f you would like to do so, please provide a short description (max. 2 pages) of your research project, used methods, and already identified issues related to the GDPR.


Qualitative methods, interpretation and operationalization – how do you decide what you think you see?

with Maja Horst

In this course we take student projects as the point of departure and investigate in detail how one actually operationalize central concepts and identify phenomena that let one speak about the world. The focus is on hands on experience of interpretative analysis and the student’s active participation is crucial for the learning outcome. A preparatory one-page description of students projects is a prerequisite for participation.

In one page, please spent one third on each of the following points. You do not have to be sure about what you write, just try to describe as best you can:
1. Give first a short introduction to your PhD project and state your research question(s).
2. Describe the phenomena you are trying to observe, the methods you use and the data you collect. Try also to describe how you think the data is informing you of the phenomena you are interested in.
3. Give 1-3 examples of data that demonstrate what you described in point 2.

Nov 25, 15:00 – 17:00 PhD Workshop, part I, MCTS, 2nd floor, winter garden
Nov 26, 18:30 – 20:00, public lecture, Vorhoelzer Forum (participation in this public lecture is part of the workshop) – please find announcement of public lecture attached
Nov 27, 9:00 – 11:00, Seminar room 270 MCTS

MCTS Concepts & Theories

When & Where: Several meetings throughout the semester

 Date TimeRoom
Session 18 May 201910:30 am–1 pmMCTS, 270
Session 229 May 201910:00 am–12:30 pmMCTS, 270
Session 319 June 20192 pm–4:30 pmMCTS, 253 or Arcisstr. 21, 1221
Session 42 July 20192 pm–5 pmMCTS, 270

Workload: 7,5 hrs per session

Working language: English

Procedures for doctoral candidates who want to attend the workshop:

In advance:

  • Decide in advance whether you want to attend 15 or 30 hrs (workload per semester). Participation in 2 or 3 sessions amounts to 15hrs, full participation amounts to 30hrs (per semester).
  • Register until 23 April via email to Anna Kellerer (, naming which sessions you will attend. Based on this information the lecturers are able to prepare the session according to the number of attendees. Administration will set up a moodle, where all lecturers provide their session’s readings for the participants.
  • If there are short-time changes in a session (room, time), the lecturer will let you know in due time via email.
  • During the session: In each session, the lecturer will circulate a signature list, which they return to administration – as a basis for workshop certificates. Administration will send you the certificate after the last session. The minimum hours to receive a certificate will be 15 hours/2 sessions.

If you are not able to attend:

  • If you are unable to attend, inform the lecturer in due time, in advance, via email.
  • If you cannot attend a requested session and you are aiming for a 15hrs certificate, choose another session as a substitute (within the semester).
  • In exceptional cases and in prior consultation with the lecturer
    • once only, participation via Skype/video conferencing might be possible (e.g. because a participant is not situated in Munich and unable to travel for a session)
    • once only, a written essay or similar output might replace the personal attendance of a session (e.g.: if a participant falls sick)



The doctoral workshop is designed as a semester-long reading course and provides the opportunity to dig deeper into selected topics and ongoing debates in Science and Technology Studies. Therefore, each session focuses on current topics, theories and methods in various STS research areas, which will be studied and discussed along the pieces of reading mentioned below. The reading course will take place each year onwards, during the summer semester, supporting doctoral candidates in building up a wide base of STS literature.


Agenda and Readings

Session 1, 8 May 2019:

Laboratorization and experimentation beyond laboratory walls (Andrea Schikowitz)

In STS, the lab and the experiment in their various configurations have been studied as core elements of producing credible and authoritative scientific knowledge (Knorr Cetina 1999; Latour & Woolgar 1986; Rheinberger 2008, Shapin 1999). Translations and transitions between the lab (as controllable ‘placeless place’ where generalizable knowledge is produced) and the field (as essentially situated, authentic and ‘real’ place) have been identified as being essential for the construction of facts (Kohler 2002; Latour 1983, 1999). Recent diagnoses of and calls for ‘opening up the lab’ and real-world-experimentation in relation to so-called societal challenges indicate a re-ordering of boundaries and relations (Gross 2018; Gross & Krohn 2005; Karvonen & Van Heur 2014). In this session, we will read and discuss two texts that deal with process of laboratorisation and experimentation beyond laboratory walls and that reflect upon what this might mean for knowledge production and its credibility.

Obligatory readings: [i]

  • Gieryn, T. F. (2006). City as Truth-Spot: Laboratories and Field-Sites in Urban Studies. Social Studies of Science, 36(1), 5-38.
  • Gross, M. (2016). Give Me an Experiment and I Will Raise a Laboratory. Science, Technology & Human Values, 41(4), 613-634.


Session 2, 29 May 2019:

Analysing contemporary technopolitics through the lens of sociotechnical imaginaries (Alexander Wentland)

Over the past decade, the concept of “sociotechnical imaginaries” has emerged as one of the most prominent STS frameworks to understand how technoscience is coproduced with political institutions, cultural narratives, and regional boundaries. Unlike visions, hypes or fashions, imaginaries are collective, durable, material, and capable of being performed; yet they are also temporally situated and culturally particular. Imaginaries help us to engage with the ways in which hopes and desires for the future get bound up with the hard stuff of past achievements. In this reading session, we will discuss how imaginaries constitute a useful analytical resource for investigating the formative but often implicit collective understandings of science and technology that shape contemporary social life and social order.

Obligatory readings:

  • Jasanoff, Sheila. 2015. “Future Imperfect: Science, Technology, and the Imaginations of Modernity.” Pp. 1–33, in Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power, edited by S. Jasanoff and S.-H. Kim. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Felt, Ulrike. 2015. “Keeping Technologies Out: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Formation of Austria’s Technopolitical Identity.” Pp. 103–25, in Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power, edited by S. Jasanoff and S.-H. Kim. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Pfotenhauer, Sebastian, and Sheila Jasanoff. “Panacea or Diagnosis?: Imaginaries of Innovation and the ‘MIT Model’ in Three Political Cultures.” Social Studies of Science 306312717706110. doi:10.1177/0306312717706110.


Session 3, 19 June, 2019:

Boundary objects – or how alignment between heterogeneous actors in open and uncertain co-operations can occur (Katrin Hahn)

Co-construction, user involvement and open innovation are only a few but very different concepts which all emphasize the importance of various knowledge sources for successful innovation and technology development. In practice the combination of different knowledge sources and their development towards something new requires at least to some extent the co-operation between heterogeneous, e.g. interdisciplinary, actors.

In this reading group we want to discuss the questions what is heterogeneity about and how can different actors in uncertain and open ended processes of knowledge creation, such as innovation, be aligned? Star’s and Griesemer’s famous paper about “boundary objects” builds the basis for our discussion. You are very welcome to bring examples from your empirical research about heterogeneous co-operation and/or boundary objects.

Obligatory readings:

Please read carefully and in-depth:

  • Star, Susan Leigh, and James R. Griesemer. 1989. “Institutional Ecology, `Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39.” Social Studies of Science 19 (3):387-420. doi: 10.1177/030631289019003001.

Please focus on understanding her main points about defining boundary objects:

  • Star, Susan Leigh. 2010. “This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 35 (5):601-617.


Session 4, 2 July 2019:

Engaging ‘Solidarity’: concepts from/in the field and beyond (Prof. Barbara Prainsack, invited lecturer of RIPE/Eng.Resp.)

How can one work with concepts not ‘freely’ chosen, but rather encountered as part of a project-related position, or at fieldwork/data collection? Notions like responsibility, integrity, autonomy, sustainability, intelligence, etc. too often pop up in a multitude of empirical enactments in relation to technoscientific matters or might even structure the empirical field to such an extent that it is impossible to not consider an examination. STS research and scholarship encourages and systematically cultivates sensibilities about bringing theory and empirical work together. Engaging a concept in a structured manner is thus key concern for students and scholars alike, and many proposals have been developed.

In this session we focus on the examination of solidarity, as outlined by Profs Prainsack and Buyx in their seminal book:

‘Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond’ (2017)

Participants have the opportunity to meet invited lecturer, Prof. Barbara Prainsack* and collectively discuss what her/their approach entails for the researcher/author, and how it may prove fruitful in engaging concepts beyond solidarity.

Note that Prof. Stephen Hilgartner and Prof. Ruth Müller have declared interest to attend the session as discussants

Obligatory readings:

  • Prainsack, B., & Buyx, A. (2017). Solidarity: A Brief History of A Concept and A Project. In Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond (Cambridge Bioethics and Law, pp. 1-16). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi:10.1017/9781139696593.002
  • Prainsack, B., & Buyx, A. (2017). Theorising Solidarity. In Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond (Cambridge Bioethics and Law, pp. 17-18). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


*Professor of Comparative Policy Analysis, at the Uni.Wien, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS).


[i] Session 1 Background readings:


Gross, M. (2018). Remaking Participatory Democracy through Experimental Design. Science, Technology & Human Values, 0(0), 0162243918799172.

Gross, M., & Krohn, W. (2005). Society as Experiment: Sociological Foundations for a Self-Experimental Society. History of the Human Sciences, 18(2), 63-86.

Karvonen, A., & Van Heur, B. (2014). Urban Laboratories: Experiments in Reworking Cities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(2), 379-392.

Knorr Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic Cultures. How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England: Harvard University Press.

Kohler, R. E. (2002). Landscapes and Labscapes. Exploring the Lab-Field Border in Biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Latour, B. (1983). Give me a Laboratory and I Will Raise the World. In K. Knorr-Cetina & M. Mulkay (Eds.), Science Observed: Perspectives on the Social Study of Science (pp. 141-170). London/Beverly Hills: Sage.

Latour, B. (1999). Circulating Reference. Sampling the Soil in the Amazon Forest. In Pandora’s Hope. Essays on the Reality of Science Studies (pp. 24-79). Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press.

Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1986). Laboratory Life. The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rheinberger, H.-J. (2008). Experimental Systems: Historiality, Narration, and Deconstruction. Science in Context, 7(01), 65-81.

Shapin, S. (1999). The House of Experiment in Seventeenth-Century England. In M. Biagioli (Ed.), The Science Studies Reader (pp. 479-504). New York/London: Routledge.

How to apply successfully for Horizon2020-Calls

Philip Pfaller, Anna Abelmann

When & Where: October 10, 2018, 9 am−12 (optional: extended 1h-Q&A-session after 12), MCTS, Augustenstr. 46, seminar room 270

Workshop Language: English

Target group: Advanced doctoral candidates + senior researchers Participating doctoral candidates will receive a certificate for PhD qualification program at MCTS

“Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the largest ever European funding program for research and innovation (promoted by the Directorate General “Research and Innovation” of the European Commission) with a budget of 79 billion euros, running until 2020. Its aims are to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, to remove barriers to innovation and to make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate. H2020 has 3 areas of focus: Excellent science, industrial leadership and Societal challenges, which covers all stages of research and innovation – from concept to market.” Adapted from:

The workshop shall provide a detailed insight into the application process for Horizon 2020 proposals, including Marie Curie actions. The workshop is especially designed for advanced PhD students, Postdocs and senior researchers who consider or have already concrete plans to apply for EU-Calls during the upcoming years.

The workshop will address the coherence between a successful academic career and international research cooperation, analyses concrete examples for successful and unsuccessful proposals and discuss specific application projects of 3 workshop participants as case studies. To understand how to respond successfully to Horizon2020-Calls, it is important to know the intention behind supported research topics as well as how submitted proposals will be evaluated.

Furthermore, this advanced workshop will focus on the following vital questions:

  • Behind the calls: How do European political developments influence the H2020-calls?
  • How to build international research networks interested in H2020?
  • What are synergies between the European Programmes and why is this interesting?
  • Academic Career Roadmap: Combination of funding schemes to achieve your long term goals.
  • How can you benefit from BayFOR’s scientific coordination offices?

The achieved knowledge will prove to be useful in order to elaborate or contribute to successful proposals.


How should we live in academia?

Dr. Sarah R Davies

When & Where:

  • Munich Colloquium on Technology in Society by Dr. Sarah R Davies on “Making sense of mobility: Precarity and international mobility in the natural sciences”, Nov 20, 2018, 5 pm, Vorhoelzer Forum
  • Workshop November 23, 2018, 4-7 pm, MCTS, Augustenstr. 46, seminar room 270


There is increasing public, policy and academic discussion of the nature and conditions of academia, from ‘quit lit’ (personal accounts of the decision to leave research) to policy concerns about a ‘post-doc problem’. While, within these discussions, there is widespread agreement that universities are changing, assessments of exactly how and why vary, with emphases on, variously, new public management, the integration of public and private sectors, ‘academic capitalism’, or neoliberalism. Key trends – impacting both research and teaching – are marketisation, individualisation, evaluation, precarity, and responsibilisation.

We will consider these developments by reading, discussing, and critiquing some key literature and concepts and through reflexive engagement concerning how these dynamics shape our own careers and experiences. In particular we will pay attention to the question of how one should live and work in the academy under its current conditions. What possibilities are there for intervention or resistance, and are these necessary? If the ideal academic is construed by research policy as entrepreneurial, independent, and mobile, can and should we find other ways of performing this figure?


Ball SJ (2012) Performativity, Commodification and Commitment: An I-Spy Guide to the Neoliberal University. British Journal of Educational Studies 60(1): 17–28.

Cannizzo F (2018) ‘You’ve got to love what you do’: Academic labour in a culture of authenticity. The Sociological Review 66(1): 91–106.

Kleinman DL and Vallas SP (2001) Science, capitalism, and the rise of the ‘knowledge worker’: The changing structure of knowledge production in the United States. Theory and Society 30(4): 451–492.

Shore C (2008) Audit culture and Illiberal governance: Universities and the politics of accountability. Anthropological Theory 8(3): 278–298.

Sparkes AC (2007) Embodiment, academics, and the audit culture: a story seeking consideration. Qualitative Research 7(4): 521–550.

Thornton M (2013) The Mirage of Merit. Australian Feminist Studies 28(76): 127–143.

Ylijoki O-H (2010) Future orientations in episodic labour: Short-term academics as a case in point. Time & Society 19(3): 365–386.


Visual Vignettes

Participants: 12 (max.)

When & where: January 29th 201, Arcisst.21, Room 1221

Format: 1 day (10am – 5pm)

Facilitators: Mascha Gugganig (TU Munich), Rachel Douglas-Jones (ITU Copenhagen)

Words ≠ Images: The politics of how we represent and communicate moments from fieldwork is an evergreen challenge. In science & technology studies and the social sciences, priority is ordinarily given to words, with images playing a supporting role. This workshop explores the relationship between words and images in communicating research by using the image as a frame within which words are placed. The visual vignettes will be curated on a designated website to inspire further visual vignettes as a creative teaching tool, dissemination tool and/or as a form of visual ethnography.

What is a visual vignette? A visual vignette integrates text and image to create short, evocative descriptions of a particular phenomenon, conveyed quickly while also providing substantive content. Other than photo essays, this format challenges the order and ‘division of labour’ between words – often as descriptor – and images – as illustration.

  • How can we reconfigure research that has already been conducted into a novel genre of research dissemination
  • Can composing a visual vignette be part of doing research itself?

Workshop Preparation: You should prepare for the workshop by finding and bringing with you existing images and a short text about a topic that currently inspires you in your work. You will need to bring your own laptop, with Powerpoint installed.

  • Bring a story from your fieldwork, written up text (c. 700 words)
  • Bring a selection of images that belong with this story (up to 10)

Extended Doctoral Workshops

Organisers: Franziska Engels, Nina Frahm, Anton Schröpfer

Collaborating Profs: Sebastian Pfotenhauer, Stephen Hilgartner

When? Nov. 10 2017, 1 pm – open end

Where? theater “Heppel & Ettlich”, Feilitzstr. 12, 80802 München

Who? MCTS doctoral candidates

We are happy to announce that visiting professor Stephen Hilgartner from Cornell University will interactively engage and stay with us for the workshop!

Stephen Hilgartner’s work comprises some of the most prominent concepts of science and technology studies: It reflects on the politics of emerging technologies, scientific knowledge practices, the role of vanguard visions for sociotechnical change, the measurement and models of risk in society, and, most recently, the governance and control of knowledge. His work offers multiple entries of analytical reflections for current doctoral research projects at MCTS.

The extended doctoral workshop consists of two parts:

A public keynote by Stephen Hilgartner on the 17th October 2017, 5 pm, at Vorhoelzer Fourm in Munich.

An interactive doctoral workshop with Stephen Hilgartner taking place on the 10th November 2017 at the theater “Heppel & Ettlich”.

Organisers: Mariya Dzhimova, Sandra Lang, Indrawan Prabaharyaka, Georgia Samaras, David Seibt, Klara-Aylin Wenten

Collaborating Postdocs: Judith Igelsböck, Carlos Cuevas Garcia

When? Oct. 12.-13. 2016, 9 am – 5 pm

Where? Seidlvilla, Nikolaiplatz 1b, 80802 München

Who? MCTS doctoral candidates

This year’s Summer School is about ‘Experimenting with Hybridity’.

Hybridity has long been a mainstay of STS scholarship. Metaphors such as ‘cyborg’ and ‘techno-society’ coexist with analytical approaches such as assemblages and actor-networks. If we have learned anything from past STS research, it is that we are living in a hybrid world without clear distinctions between human, animal and machine, society and technology, science and non-science. Which new forms of order and organization, relationality and praxis can be understood in terms of the hybrid? ‘Experimenting with Hybridity’ means exploring meaningful dimensions of hybridity in today’s techno-society.

Many prominent images of hybridity like artificial intelligence, genetic modification or virtual reality share a distinct emphasis on the future. However, these imaginations of the future are not unitary, a future of hybrids, but are themselves hybrid, ranging from egalitarian utopias to post-human dystopies. How are our expectations, projections and simulations of these futures related to their emergence? ‘Experimenting with Hybridity’ means discovering the unfolding temporal dynamics of hybrid arrangements.

The thematic focus on hybridity and their continuous emergence will be supported by an experimental setting. Beyond classical forms of presentations and workshops, we invite contributions that themselves blur the boundaries between experts and lay people, presenters and audience, the ones researching and the ones being researched. ‘Experimenting with Hybridity’ means being entangled in its becoming.