This section is currently under construction. If you are interested in pursuing a doctorate at the STS Department, please reach out with all relevant information to one of our professors as potential supervisors. If you have questions regarding admission requirements or regulations, please contact


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”. .

Current Events


July 16, 2021




Hitrova, Christina
Achieving environmental sustainability through and in AI: Social, technical and legal dimensions

Patzelt, Nadine
Protesting innovation: The meaning of civil resistance for re-politicizing regional innovation strategies in Germany

Richards, Stephanie-Louise
International Law by Design – a Transnational Duty for Regulating Emerging Technologies

Knopf, Sophia
Data and Governance in Mobility Innovation

Özkan, Oguz
Activities as layers of infrastructures: Laserlab Europe

Past Events


February 11 + 12, 2021




Braun, Maximilian
Between Expectations and Subjectivities: Becoming a ‘Geriatronics’ Engineer

Breuer, Svenja
Tracing Imaginaries of AI through Policy and Practice

Tatari, Maryam
How to Code Values: The Controversial Configuration of a Value-driven Public Media Platform

Weller, Kevin
… And Still They Tinker. Prototypical Milieus of Drone-making on YouTube

Willem, Theresa
Embedding Ethics. Lessons from an Ethicist’s Participation in ML-HCA Development

Clare, Amy
Livestock Logic & Entangled Existences: An Ethnographic Exploration of Xenotransplantation

Meyer, Henning
AI Leadership Coaches: The Algorithmic fit of “Mental Wellbeing”, Zen-Buddhism and a Logic of the Surface

Rossmann, Sophia
From Safe Space to Matter of Concern: The Placenta as a Model for Epigenetic Research in Environmental Toxicology

Rueß, Anja
Of Egg-laying Wool-milk-sows and Trojan Horses: Tracing Visions of Democracy in Co-creation

Strotmann, Marc
Scientists of our Time? Events and Individuals in Neurotechnological Research

Clormann, Michael
Outer Space Research as Space Sector Research: Challenges towards Open Outer Space

Guner, Cansu
The Entrepreneur in da House: Co-shaping of Gender and Entrepreneurship in Co-living Spaces

Orrego, Santiago
Mirrors and Labyrinths. Learning from Times Square How to Make an Urban-MCTS Ethnography, a Making Off


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


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


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


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 – MCTS 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 workshops Summer term 2021

Doctoral Workshop:

Communicating Your Research: Exploring New Media Formats


June 23rd, 15:00–18:00, June 24th, 15:00–18:00, June 25th, 18:30–20:00


Digital event.


30 h


While the academic journal might not be dead, recent years have seen an influx of a variety of alternative research dissemination formats for academics, mainly propagated by new digital media platforms. Researchers have began to share their work via podcasting, longform storytelling, Instagramming, graphic novel writing, or TikToking. One can also argue that as society is the most influential stakeholder of a publicly-funded university, it is incredibly important that our research reaches new forms of publics.

The workshop will address new forms of communicating our research results via media such as podcasts, vlogging, dynamic websites and Tiktok. We will also discuss the tricky task of boiling down our large research experiences, findings and ideas to short, publicly-palpable formats, as well as the critique of such practices.

The course will be held in a block of 3 days where students will learn about the current trends in alternative publication formats and brainstorm their own work in relation to one format of their choice. Students will be asked to present an idea prototype for one of their chosen formats – showing us how, theoretically, their work can be disseminated to reach a wider audience. Much attention will be paid to the discussion and communicative application of the projects of the PhD students.


Ross-Hellauer, T., Tennant, J. P., Banelytė, V., Gorogh, E., Luzi, D., Kraker, P., … & Vignoli, M. (2020). Ten simple rules for innovative dissemination of research.

Past Events

Doctoral Workshop:
Multispecies salons, drinks with insects, and more-than-human hackathons?
Anthropocenic encounters and participation between art and research.


November 4th, 2020, 9 am – 12 pm and December 4th, 2020, 9 am -12 pm


Digital event. Participants will receive a zoom link upon registration.


15 h


Transdisciplinary ways of working concurrently encompass not just exchanges and transferrals between academic disciplines but between artistic and research practices as well. This is espe-cially true for work that addresses the Anthropocene and human and more-than-human coexist-ence in multispecies worlds. During the workshop, we explore the hopes, possibilities, and chal-lenges of such exchanges and consider what those approaches can do for participant’s Ph.D. research project – even if and especially if the Ph.D. researchers themselves do not make use of such transferrals (yet).
The workshop introduces participants to the notions of ‘encounter’ and ‘participation’ through the lens of artistic and creative works that zoom in on the current challenges of the Anthropocene. Why do we need creative and artistic measures to understand and possibly shape the world at its current state? What knowledges and sensations emerge through those different ways of en-counter and possibly participation? How are these notions, prominent in MCTS and transdisciplinary research practice, explored similarly or differently in artistic and creative fields and what can par-ticipants learn from these fields for their own projects?
During the first session, the notion of ‘encounter’ will be explored through the example of the Multispecies Salon and other works. During the second session, we will focus on the notion of ‘participation’. Participatory approaches are part of many artistic and design works that address the Anthropocene at large and they feature prominently in MCTS research designs and hopes for public engagement. But what exactly could participation mean for work that engages, and often claims to cooperate with, more-than-human others and lifeforms? What human audiences are being included, and how? During the second half of the second session, artist and researcher Dr. Katrin Petroschkat will join Dr. Susanne Schmitt for a presentation and discussion of ‘Barfly”, a research-based olfactory encounter on which they collaborated.
Please write a 2-page reflection piece detailing how encounter and participation play a (future) role in your current PhD research project. What can transfer from creative and artistic engage-ments and struggles with those topics for your own work? Please submit your reflection piece before the second workshop meeting but no later than December 2nd.

Anderson, Kayla. “Ethics, Ecology, and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropo-cene.” Leonardo 48, no. 4 (2015): 338–47.
Barry, Kaya & Keane, Jondi. (2019). Creative Measures of the Anthropocene: Art, Mo-bilities and Participatory Geographies. Palgrave. (excerpts)
Barua, Maan. “Encounter.” Environmental Humanities, no.7 (2016): 265–270.
Bastian, Michelle, Jones, Owain, Moore, Niamh & Roe, Emma. 2017. “More-than-hu-man participatory research Contexts, challenges, possibilities.” Pp.1-15 in Participatory Research in More-than-Human Worlds, edited by M. Bastian, O. Jones, N. Moore and E. Roe., Routledge. 1-15 (optional)
Delvenne, Pierre & Macq, Hadrien (2020) “Breaking Bad with the Participatory Turn? Accelerating Time and Intensifying Value in Participatory Experiments.” Science as Cul-ture 29, no. 2 (2020): 245-268
https://doi. org/10.1080/09505431.2019.1668369 (optional)
Grobler, Nicola. 2019. “Encounters With The Visitor Centre: Art And Interspecies Rela-tionships.” Pp. 369-388 in Animal Encounters: Kontakt, Interaktion und Relationalität, edited by A. Böhm and J. Ullrich. Springer.
Kirksey, Eben, ed. 2014. The Multispecies Salon. Duke University Press. (short excerpt)

Doctoral Workshop:
Casings—Connecting Ideas and Materials throughout the Research Process
Jun.-Prof. Susann Wagenknecht, PhD, Mikrosoziologie & techno-soziale Interaktion, TU Dresden

Winter semester 2020/21


November 25th, 2020, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm


Digital event. Participants will receive a zoom link upon registration.


15 h


In this workshop, we explore casings as multiple, processual, and shifting. Venturing beyond text-book explanations of “the case” as a technical term, we explore the role of casings in linking ideas and materials throughout the research process. Casings can shape research projects in distinct ways. We discuss when, how, and why we invoke cases (or not). With a focus on MCTS, we will experiment with re-casing our research to address these and other troubling questions: How do technologies ‘case’—both the technologies that we observe as well as the technologies that we use for observation? Can casings help address some of the challenges that empirical research faces in the midst of pandemic crises? How do casings account for the mediatized, sometimes fragmented and ‘incomplete’ character of much of ongoing research today? How do casings re-flect, and account for, positionality? Which casings support digital sociologies? If observations are multi-sited, combinative or comparative, should casings be that, too? If (ethnographic) fields are networked and observations are infrastructured, where should casings end? When to de-case?

Doctoral Workshop:
Viral Ontologies and Imaginaries: MCTS Approaches to COVID-19

Prof. Martha Kenney, PhD (visiting professor @ Science and Technology Policy)


January 21, 2021, 1pm – 4pm


Digital event. Participants will receive a zoom link upon registration.




COVID-19 is a complex social and scientific phenomenon that challenges MCTS scholars to use the tools of our field to intervene in public health, scientific, and public responses to the pandemic. In this workshop, we will consider how MCTS scholarship on viral ontologies and imaginaries can help us re-consider what a virus is and how we might live well in relation to the novel coronavirus. We will look at scholarship, fiction, and activism that pushes against the popular notion of viruses as enemy agents and offer us three alternative imaginaries: “virus as process,” “virus as relation,” and “virus as elemental ghost.” We will be joined by special guest Prof. Astrid Schrader (University of Exeter) who will discuss her recent work on the ontology of marine viruses in the context of COVID-19.

In the second half of the workshop, we will consider the role of MCTS scholars in media, research, and policy around COVID-19. How can we use the tools and analytics of MCTS to productively intervene in our current moment? How can be best translate MCTS concepts to different audiences? What is the role of MCTS thinking in a pandemic? In pairs we will workshop each participant’s op-ed article and collectively discuss the challenges and possibilities of writing in this new genre. Finally, we will draw on the discussion from the first half of the workshop to consider how exploring unfamiliar viral ontologies and imaginaries can inform our interventions as politically-engaged MCTS scholars.


Each student will draft an op-ed or commentary article that uses an MCTS perspective to analyse some aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Choose a media outlet that you are interested in submitting to. This could include the traditional media, internet-based media, or a scientific and medical journal. Consider how to translate MCTS concepts and ideas for the readers of your chosen outlet. Articles should be 500-750 words and include a maximum of one direct quote from an academic source. You may draw on the ideas from the readings for the workshop or your own research / reading. For more information on the genre of the op-ed see: Please submit your assignment by January 14.


Brives, Charlotte. “The Politics of Amphibiosis: The War Against Viruses will not Take Place.” Somatosphere. 2020.
Dupré, John and Stephan Guttinger. “Viruses as Living Processes.”  Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 59 (2016):109-16.
Schrader, Astrid. “Elemental Ghosts, Haunted Carbon Imaginaries, and Living Matter at the Edge of Life.” in Reactivating Elements, Substance, Process and Method from Chemistry to Cosmology. Ed. Dimitris Papadopoulos, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, and Natasha Myers. Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming.
Shotwell, Alexis. “Containment vs. Care.” Against the Grain. Radio Program. 2020
Shotwell, Alexis. “The Virus is a Relation.” Uping the Anti: a journal of theory and action. 2020.
The Girl with all the Gifts. Dir. Colm McCarthy. Film. 2016.

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 Time Room
Session 1 28 April 2020 5.30 pm − 8 pm online
Session 2 4 May 2020 2 pm − 6 pm online or attended (r. 370) depending on situation
Session 3 28 May 2020 1 pm − 4 pm online or attended (r. 270) depending on situation
Session 4 4 June 2020 9 am − 1 pm online 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 MCTS 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 MCTS literature.

Agenda and Readings

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

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

In this session, we will discuss conceptual approaches from feminist MCTS that center care as a conceptual framework as well as a practical commitment for conducting MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS 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 MCTS. 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, 370 Biomedicine & Health – title tbd Clare
Wed 2-5, 370 Science in a “Post-Truth” World Isopp
Thu 9-12.15, 370 Ethics of Responsibility: An Introduction to Applied Ethics Wernecke
Mon 3-6, 1229 Politics, Innovation, and Risks in the Oil & Gas Industry Cuevas
Mon 3-6, 1229 Science, Technology, and the City Wentland
mostly on Thu
1-2.30, 370
Law, Science and Technology: Law and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Djeffal
22./23.4., Zürich Digital Medicine Djeffal
Research Creation: Sensing Extended Realities Passoth
Tue 9-12.15, 370 Telling Responsible Stories – Telling Stories Responsibly. MCTS, Technoscience and Narrative Culture. Müller
Thu 3-6, 2408 Introduction to Science & Technology Policy (WI001124, WI001172) Pfotenhauer
Fri 8.5. 2-6, 270
Fri 10.7. 9-6, 1229
Project Seminar: Applied Ethics of Responsibility Wernecke
Tue 1.30-3, 370 Urban Natures. Landscapes, Infrastructures, Technologies Mauch

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).

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
seminar Living in NatureCulture: How to Care in the Anthropocene Müller
seminar Innovation, Society, and Public Policy Pfotenhauer
seminar Ethics of Responsibility: Current Areas of Application Wernecke
seminar AT: Media & Digital Cultures Passoth
seminar Global Histories of Technology Mauch, Esselborn
seminar Spaces of Participation – Participatory Spaces Schikowitz

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 Time Room
Session 1 8 May 2019 10:30 am–1 pm MCTS, 270
Session 2 29 May 2019 10:00 am–12:30 pm MCTS, 270
Session 3 19 June 2019 2 pm–4:30 pm MCTS, 253 or Arcisstr. 21, 1221
Session 4 2 July 2019 2 pm–5 pm MCTS, 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 MCTS 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 MCTS literature.


Agenda and Readings

Session 1, 8 May 2019:

Laboratorization and experimentation beyond laboratory walls (Andrea Schikowitz)

In MCTS, 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 MCTS 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. MCTS 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)