Upcoming Events

STS-Austria Conference “Digging where we stand: Activism, Community and the Politics of STS”

The STS Austria Conference will take place from 27 – 29 November 2023 at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna.

Activism and new forms of political organizing are (once again) gaining traction outside and inside of academia. This is happening alongside calls for more participation in and for the  democratization of science. The intensification of current crises and the disruptive potential of  technoscientific capitalism call for long overdue transformations of the socio-material relations that science and technology are part of. Postcolonial and feminist critiques of the normative  power and epistemic violence in science and technology have been renewed in recent years and push for an ethico-onto-epistemology that urges researchers to reflect their positionality  and take a stand. Precarious working conditions in academia intensify the search for agency and clout of critical research and engagement. This is the time for STS to revisit its relation to activism and engagement, its own community standards and positioning within the labor struggles of the wider academy.

What are our standards of and visions for engagement? Where do we as STS researchers draw the boundaries of engagement and what alliances do we enter? How are we multiple and (how) should we join forces nonetheless?

We look forward to discussing these questions with you at the STS Austria Conference 2023!






Past Events

General Assembly/Business Meeting 2022 & Keynote Ulrike Felt

When: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 14:00-18:00
Where: Alte Burse (ÖAW), Sonnenfelsgasse 19, 1010 Wien

Download the Annual Meeting STS Austria_agenda_2022

Workshop: “STS: Skills, Career Trajectories and Stories” #2

When: Wednesday, November 24, 14:00-17:00 CET
Where: Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Josefstädter Straße 39, 1080 Wien, and ONLINE

For information on program and registration see:

Workshop: “Digital Living, Digital Infrastructuring”

When: September 13 – 15, 2021
Festsaal, Meerscheinschlössel, Mozartgasse 3, 8010, Graz

Download the Call for Papers
Download the Final Program


Monday, 13 September, 16:30-18:00 CET
Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda (University of Klagenfurt): Digital STS

Tuesday, 14 September, 16:30-18:00 CET
Nina Klimburg-Witjes (University of Vienna): Sensing In/Security: Sensors as transnational security infrastructures 

Both keynotes will be streamed and can be attended via: https://unitube.uni-graz.at/portal/streaming.html?id=event21

Symposium: “Leben mit Corona”

When:  June 29 – July 1, 2020
Where: Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Josefstädter Straße 39, 1080 Wien, and ONLINE

Download the Conference Program

General Assembly 2020 & Early Career Publications Award

When: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 (15:00 – 18:00)
Where: Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung (ITA), Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien

Download the Meeting Agenda

STS: Skills, Career Trajectories and Stories (Workshop)

When: Friday, December 6, 2019 (09:30 – 13:00)
Where: Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Josefstädterstraße 39, 1080 Wien

Download the Workshop Programme

The workshop documentation will be available here

STS Austria Pre-Conference Workshop

When: 17 September 2018 (11:00 am -14:30 pm)
Where: Alpen‐Adria‐Universität Klagenfurt

Download the Programme

Download the Workshop Invitation

2nd STS Austria Conference

When: 17‐19 September 2018
Where: Alpen‐Adria‐Universität Klagenfurt

Download the STS Austria Conference Programme (2018 09 12)

Download General information plus hotels & restaurants

Download the Call for Abstracts

General assembly 2017 and workshop

When: 14 December 2017

Where: Institut für Höhere Studien – Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Josefstädter Straße 39, 1080 Vienna, Austria

1:00 – 2:30: General assembly of STS Austria
2:30 – 2:45: Coffee break
2:45 – 3:45: Public lecture Vincent Blok (Wageningen University)
3:45 – 4:15: Coffee break and networking
4:15 – 6:00: Roundtable Responsible Research and Innovation as an engaged practice: promises, challenges, resistances with Ulrike Felt (Uni Wien), Erich Grießler (IHS), Barbara Grimpe (AAU), Marjo Rauhala (TU Wien)

Public lecture:
Vortrag Vincent Blok, Wageningen University: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: the Opportunities for Responsible Innovation in Industry

Please register here (Doodle) to help us plan for the coffee breaks!

Workshop on ‘Community and Identity in Contemporary Techno-Sciences’

When: 16-18 February 2017

Where: IFF, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Wien

Keynote Speakers:

Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, University of Exeter

Alfred Nordmann, TU Darmstadt

Concept and organization:

Karen Kastenhofer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Martina Merz (Univ. Klagenfurt), Ulrike Felt, Maximilian Fochler, Anna Pichelstorfer (Univ. Vienna), Niki Vermeulen (Univ. of Edinburgh)

Contact: kkast@oeaw.ac.at

“We look with our own eyes, we see with the eyes of a collective body” – With these words the physician/biologist turned philosopher of science, Ludwik Fleck, pointedly summarized the relation between the individual mind and a related thought collective some 70 years ago. This relation has ever since been an inspiring starting point to reflect upon the conditions of doing and being in science, from the coining of the concepts of scientific community and epistemic cultures to the analyses of academic socialisation processes and the emergence of new specialties. But not only did our theoretical conceptions evolve, so did the empirical situation within the scientific world, a change hinted at by some scholars with the new label of ‘technoscience’. The first workshop launched by STS Austria addresses the thesis that it is not only that individual communities and identities emerge and fade away over time; we also observe changes in the general organisation and relevance of community and identity.

Sponsored by STS Austria together with EASST, Univ. Klagenfurt, Univ. Vienna, ITA/ÖAW and FWF.

Workshop participants: Markus Arnold (Univ. Klagenfurt), Rosalind Attenborough (Univ. Edinburgh), Clemens Blümel (Humboldt Univ. Berlin), Bettina Bock von Wülfingen (Humboldt Univ.), Beatrice Cointe (Univ. Aix Marseille), Sarah R. Davies (Univ. Copenhagen), Alexander Degelsegger-Márquez (Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna), Ulrike Felt (Univ. Vienna), Maximilian Fochler (Univ. Vienna), Celso Gomes (University Sheffield), Barbara Grimpe (Univ. Klagenfurt), Karen Kastenhofer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Regine Kollek (Hamburg Univ.), Anja Köngeter (Austrian Institute of Technology), Chris Mellingwood (Univ. Edinburgh), Martina Merz (Univ. Klagenfurt), Marianne Noel (Univ. Paris-Est), Imme Petersen (Hamburg Univ.), Andrea Schikowitz (Univ. Vienna), Sarah Schönbauer (TUMunich/Univ. Vienna), Simone Schumann (Univ. Vienna), Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg (Univ. Vienna), Lisa Sigl (Univ. Vienna), Inga Ulnicane (Univ. Vienna), Niki Vermeulen (Univ. Edinburgh), Caitlin Donahue Wylie (Univ. Virginia)

Program: Download PDF

While workshop participation is only for registered participants (see above), the two keynotes are public and we explicitly invite members of STS Austria, all other scientists and the interested public to join the two keynote lectures!

Public Keynote I: Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, University of Exeter
< pdf keynote Molyneux-Hodgson >

Title: Making a new community: the ‘scaling up’ of synthetic biology

Where: IFF, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Wien

When: February 16, 2017, 18:00 – 19:30

Abstract: In this talk I will explore the emergence of synthetic biology as a (potentially) new scientific field. I draw from the findings of a series of collaborative projects with scientists and engineers to describe some of the shifts in how synthetic biology has been positioned and performed over the last decade. By looking back and also forward, I will discuss the terrain of community making, from inside some of the projects funded to build synthetic biology. In particular, I want to use the motif of scaling-up to highlight some of the challenges to the stabilization and establishment of a nascent community.

Public Keynote II: Alfred Nordmann, TU Darmstadt
< pdf keynote Nordmann >

Title: Mastery through Calculation – The Pleasurable Lives of Science and of Technoscience

Where: Universitätszentrum Althanstraße I / Biozentrum Althanstraße 14, 1090 Wien

When: February 17, 2017, 18:00 – 19:30

Abstract: In 1919, the German sociologist of Max Weber famously characterized the vocation of the modern scientist. He promoted an ascetic ideal of scientists whose main pleasure is to be hard on themselves – as they advance the disenchantment of the world, they must hope that their own ideas will be superseded and resist the temptation to lead and inspire, to pursue social values or to make sense of the world. Weber’s view has proven immensely influential on conceptions of scientific objectivity, on the so-called Mertonian norms and the ethos of science, on the political philosophies of Karl Popper and Jürgen Habermas. Not quite a century has passed, and a very different picture emerges when sociologist Steven Shapin portrays the life of contemporary technoscience. He identifies a hedonistic ideal of science. His account is most provocative when he attributes to technoscientists not the virtues of the modern intellect but the magic qualities of pre-modern, charismatic leadership. The lecture will pursue this provocation.


General assembly 2016 and public lecture

When: 21 October 2016
Where: WIHO/IFF, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Wien Graz, Schottenfeldgasse 29 (Information zum Raum per Aushang am Gebäudeeingang), 1070 Wien


1:15 – 3:15: General assembly of STS Austria

3:30 – 5:00: Public lecture and discussion

Apéro (Drinks & Snacks)

Public lecture:

Michael Guggenheim, Goldsmiths, London: Impact Performances: Bad Auto-Ethnography of How All Science is Politics by Other Means

This talk will analyse a curious case of how STS has had some unintended consequences in research policy. It has been one of the mainstays of STS since the 1990s to argue in various ways that science is politics by other means, that the distinction between applied and basic research does not hold, or with a historic slant, that research is moving in a direction of transdisciplinary research, where users and policy relevance are always part and parcel of research. The recent Research Excellence Framework in the UK has brought these ideas in a curious volte face of history into a normative framework for assessing research. The precursors of the REF had restricted themselves to judge publications. The REF for the first time judged “impact” of each department. To do so, each department had to submit so-called impact case studies. I will analyze the logic of these case studies and conclude that they constitute a case of turning the logic of STS into a normative logic of judging research, but one based on bad auto-ethnography.

Download the abstract as pdf

Living in Technoscientific Worlds. International Conference Celebrating the Launch of STS Austria

When: 3-5 December 2015
Where: University of Vienna, Campus

Event report by Erik Arden (external link)

Download the Final Programme

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Maja Horst, University of Copenhagen
Judy Wajcman, London School of Economics
Alan Irwin, Copenhagen Business School
Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna

Concept and organization:

Erik Aarden, Ulrike Felt, Maximilian Fochler, Anna Pichelstorfer, Thomas Völker (all Univ. Vienna), Doris Allhutter (ITA Vienna), Martina Merz (Univ. Klagenfurt), Gernot Rieder (ITU Copenhagen).


There is no doubt: we live in technoscientific worlds. Scientific knowledge and technological innovations have become key drivers of change in contemporary societies that restructure both our public and private lives. These observations have shaped the intellectual agenda of the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) for several decades. As the contemporary preoccupation with innovation brings forth ever new articulations of technoscience (including social sciences and humanities) and society, the underlying core questions have not lost their timeliness and relevance: How do we engage with broader issues of inclusion and exclusion (in terms of e.g. gender, class, culture, disability) associated with technoscientific innovations? How are societal values expressed through – and simultaneously stabilized by – these innovations? What counts as a legitimate setting from which to make knowledge claims in democratic societies? How do our critical methods of investigation translate into methods of intervention?

This conference invites participants to restate the issue of what it means to live in technoscientific worlds today. This involves to explore the multiplicity of contemporary sites of technoscience as well as the ways we live with (and through) scientific knowledge and technologies. Rapid change is part and parcel of the technoscientific worlds we aim to analyze. Thus, we particularly invite careful reflection of the positions we think and speak from, both theoretically and methodologically.

This conference celebrates the launch of STS Austria, a new professional organization and a sign of the vitality and maturation of the field in this country.

More information can be found on the Conference Website