May 22, 2020
A team including Günter Getzinger (STS Unit) presented their vision for active mobility in Graz. They postulated twelve demands for quieter residential areas, more space for pedestrians, cyclists and a categorisation of the road network that ranges from large scale / supra-regional accessibility to small-scale regional development.
More information: www.move-it-graz.at
May 12, 2020
In an article "Wir können auch anders" as part of the recent issue of the Austrian journal DATUM, Günter Getzinger, head of STS/TU Graz, draws a more pessimistic picture regarding lessions learned from corona pandemia, for the fight against climate change: We will mainly see V-shaped graphs, sometimes with a higher right wing, sometimes with a lower one, sometimes equal. With global carbon dioxide emissions we have reasonable hope for the second option: the comeback of coal to power is contested, the collapse of the oil market accelerates switchings to gas and electricity.
May 5, 2020
As can be evinced in the current COVID pandemia, one way in which modern societies react to times of insecurity is by addressing increased hopes to experts. This phenomenon has been in the focus of a recent book publication by Christian Dayé. Entitled Experts, Social Scientists, and Techniques of Prognosis in Cold War America (Palgrave, 2020), the book traces the origin of various techniques or social prognosis at the RAND Corporation, a U.S. think tank based in Santa Monica, CA. Among the techniques covered are the Delphi method and Political Gaming, two techniques that became central to the then nascent movement of future studies and are still widely used today in fields ranging from management studies to technology assessment and public health.
April 2, 2020
The IAS-STS invites researchers to apply for a stay between 1 October 2020 and 30 June 2021 as a research fellow (up to nine months) or visiting scholar (shorter period, e.g. one month)!
March 9, 2020
On 4th of March accompanying their lecture series, the nine Styrian universities, under the leadership of the university network "Sustainability4U", presented a Styrian wide poster exhibition on the explosive thematic pair "Climate crisis and change in awarness".
State President Manuela Khom and representatives of the city of Graz and the Styrian university conference openend the exhibition at the Landhaus. The poster presentation then will be shown at the Styrian Universities.
The exhibition "Climate Crisis and Change in Awarenesss" shows problems and fields of action that exist in the context of the climate crisis and it focuses on important climate-related issues.
The first part of the exhibition deals primarily with the scientific side of the climate crisis. The second part is more about socio-economic and political aspects of the climate issue.
The climate crisis, among many other challenges, requires that - like in Paris Climate agreement and recorded in SDG 13 - immediate measures have to be taken to bring greenhouse gas emissions to 0 as quickly as possible so that the desired 1.5 - 2 ° C global average surface temperature warming compared to pre-industrial level can be achieved.
In addition to "technical" measures for decarbonization (the economy, energy supply etc.) needs a broad change in consciousness as to how it is active is demanded by civil society. Social innovations and cooperation at all levels are the order of the day.
Editor: University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) on behalf of the Styrian University conference
Conception of content: David Steinwender, MSc; Gregor Fallmann, BSc
Reviewer: Ass.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Günter Getzinger, TU Graz; Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Karl Steininger, University of Graz
Graphic: Katja Melbinger, BEd, Andreas Balatka - Nextseason Werbeagentur
Content support: Moritz Steinbacher, BSc; Mag. Mario Diethart, Uniyersity of Graz
March 6, 2020
On March 4, Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald, head of the Institute for Technology Assessment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Sustainability4U lecture series, which was held for the first time by the Styrian university conference and offered by Günter Getzinger and Urs Hirschberg, with a lecture on "Climate crisis and change in awareness". His findings were initially negative: Despite detailed scientific knowledge, despite thirty years of political efforts, global CO2 emissions are increasing.
The Fridays for Future movement has raised the awareness of the population again, and yet there can be no talk of a radical, sustainable lifestyle change by the majority of the population towards more frugality. Nevertheless, Armin Grunwald closed his lecture optimistically: Politics - and it bears the main responsibility - must speak honestly about the costs of climate change, announce ambitious goals and necessary drastic steps early on, so that the economy and society can adjust to them in good time. A little bit reassuring: The contribution of technology to solving the problem is indispensable, but not sufficient.
March 4, 2020
20 delegates from universities and universities of applied sciences from all over Austria gathered on March 3rd 2020 for the workshop “Greenhouse Gas Accounting for higher educational institutions”. The workshop aimed at giving basic information about how to create a greenhouse gas (GHG) balance and how to implement measures to reduce GHG emissions from an institutional point of view. In addition, the workshop provided the possibility to exchange experiences and clarify practical questions.
The project is carried out by the Graz University of Technology, the University of Life Sciences in Vienna of and the Environment Agency Austria, funded by the “Klima und Energiefonds” in Austria.
February 24, 2020
Universities and higher educational institutions can play a leading role in implementing ambitious climate protection measures according to the Paris Agreement. This requires first of all the creation of a balance of greenhouse gases.
Second, based on the balance, measures to become climate-neutral can be developed and implementated.
Within the project "Climate Protection at Universities - University GHG Accounting and GHG Reduction 2.0" of Graz University of Technology, Boku Vienna University of Technology and the Environment Agency Austria, universities, colleges and schools are supported in this process.
A workshop will be held on March 3rd 2020 to introduce the greenhouse gas accounting tool ClimCalc and to exchange experiences in the development of greenhouse gas reduction strategies.
Further information about the workshop is provided here.
February 11, 2020
Lecture by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 6 p.m., Aula TU Graz
Rechbauerstrasse 12, 1st floor
A change in awareness has been demanded since global environmental changes became known in the 1970s. A lot of time has passed by. Environmental and climate awareness have changed during this time, at least in many European countries. A lot has happened in technology too, if you compare the efficiency of today's cars with those of the past. And a lot has changed politically. But still, none of this seems to be enough. Emissions rise, the prospects for the future of the climate darken. What is going wrong here? Answers to this question would be the key to how we can do better.
The lecture wants to take this route a little bit.
This lecture is part of the lecture series Sustainability4U lecture series: "Climate crisis and change in awareness"
February 5, 2020
Nicki Lisa Cole, PhD is an American sociologist with expertise in consumer culture and global supply chains, with a particular focus on the production and consumption of electronics, sustainable and ethical production and consumption, and fair trade systems. She has worked at universities and research organisations in California, England and Austria.
Nicki was a researcher at the University of York (England) in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and at the Stockholm-Environment Institute-York from 2017–2018 and before that was a funded Research Fellow for two years at IAS-STS. Before moving to Europe, Nicki was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Pomona College in Claremont, California. She completed a PhD in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2011.
Nicki’s research has been published in Race, Gender & Class, Contexts, and in the edited volume, Consumer Culture, Modernity and Identity. Her writing on Apple, Inc. has appeared in Truthout, CounterPunch, Sociological Images, and in the edited volumes Media Education for a Digital Education, and Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times.
We are happy to welcome Nicki Cole in our Team!
January 8, 2020
Milestones of Sociology by Christian Fleck and Christian Dayé looks back on the history of sociology and marks the decisive milestones in its development. These "milestones" - newly formulated ideas, the establishment or development of institutional arrangements, changing forms of cooperation or the introduction of new methods and research techniques - are presented in chronological order.
December 12, 2019
Universities play a special part as role models. More and more universities are assuming their responsibility and are trying to help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by universities.
With the Climcal method, developed by Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria, universities can gain a precise insight into those areas in which the majority of their greenhouse gas emissions occure. This method can monitor their development over the years and take effective measures that aim at a CO2 neutral university.
For more information on method, results and strategies for the reduction of greenhouse please see the article (in Gaia 4/2019) from Günter Getzinger, Dominik Schmitz, Sascha Mohnke, David Steinwender and Thomas Lindenthal.
December 16, 2019
The annual STS Conference Graz provides a space for scholars from part of the world to present and discuss their research with peers.
In their papers, the conference participants address the complex ways in which science, technology and society co-involve and mutually shape one another.
December 3, 2019
At the joint invitation of the sociological institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University, Christian Dayé gave a lecture in Prague at the end of November on" The Social Life of Methods: Lessons from Cold War Social Science.
November 21, 2019
Bernhard Wieser discusses how the development of digital health technologies changes our understanding of health and illness. Of particular significance in the context discussed are the technologically mediated possibilities of seamless monitoring and a comprehensive simulation. Digital health technologies are changing not only the mode of intervention of medical action, but also what we call the autonomous subject. Health becomes a quantifiable goal and an optimization practice.
October 15, 2019
The reference to the preliminary nature of the study does not change the responsibility of the researchers involved.
In a pilot phase in Styria, the school maturity of infants is determined by means of an App. Sociologist Christian Dayé (STS Unit of Graz University of Technology) points out the special relationship of trust between researchers and study participants in a guest comment (Der Standard, 14.10.2019).
October 10, 2019
Our colleague Christine Wächter was nominated for the Gabriele Possaner State Prize. This Prize is awarded to a person from the field of research and teaching, whose scientific achievements sustainability promote gender research in Austria.
October 7, 2019
At the recent conference of the Austrian Sociological Association (oegs.ac.at) in Salzburg (26 to 28 September 2019), Christian Dayé organized and chaired a lively plenary discussion on the past, present, and future of sociology in Austria. The panelists were (from right to left): Karin Scaria-Braunstein (University of Graz), Susanne Pernicka (Johannes Kepler University Linz), Frank Welz (University of Innsbruck), and Josef Langer (University of Klagenfurt).
September 23, 2019
We invite you to submit a session proposal for the upcoming STS Conference, Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, in Graz, held from 4 - 6 May 2020.
To this end, we suggest a number of thematic fields as a guideline to address contemporary challenges of the interplay between science, technology and society.
We would like to encourage session proposers to address one of these thematic fields.
The format of your proposed session does not need to be limited to academic paper and presentations. We encourage you to suggest interactive and innovative session formats, such as group discussions, world cafes, round tables, etc. Please specify your idea in case you plan an alternative setting by briefly describing it in your session proposal.
Please use this online form and submit your proposal by October 30, 2019.
September 4, 2019
In a press conference organised on 28 August 2019 in Basel the Swiss-based foundation TA-SWISS presented the results of a technology assessment study which was conducted by an interdisciplinary Austrian-Swiss consortium. Armin Spök and Caroline Hammer, both members of the Science, Technology and Society Unit, were the TU Graz researchers involved.
The presentation was very timely, as the Swiss Parliament has recently started to explore the options and needs for legal action and policy development prompted by genome editing. In 2018 members of the consortium including Armin Spök were invited to the Swiss parliament to report in interim results of this study.
Genome editing encompasses a variety of molecular techniques allowing genetic modification of virtually all living beings with higher precision and at higher pace compared to conventional gene technology. Moreover, it allows minimal genetic modifications of e.g. in food crop plants - which at this point in time - cannot be distinguished from conventional breeding. The study investigated potential advantages of and challenges of applications of genome editing in human medicine, plant and animal breeding and for so called “gene-drives”. The latter are genetic elements which could very rapidly spread a desired genetic information in a population. This type of mechanisms could also be used to eradicate populations of carriers for disease such as Malaria.
The full study (in German language) can be ordered as a paper copy but is also available for free download as e-book version at https://vdf.ch/genome-editing-interdisziplinare-technikfolgenabschatzung-e-book.htm. Abridged versions are also available in German, English, French and Italian language (for English see https://www.ta-swiss.ch/KF-Genome-Editing-en-19_Web.pdf).
September 3, 2019
To support the research and visibility of early career researchers in Science and Technology Studies, STS Austria will award a prize for the best publications by young researchers.
Submission Deadline: October 15, 2019
We are happy to announce the current courses of our STS Unit for the winter term 2019/20.
If not explicitly provided in the curriculum anyway, each course can be counted as a "free elective" by students of all disciplines of Graz University of Technology and University of Graz.
Students who are registered for a degree programme at a different Austrian university (e.g. University of Graz) and wish to take examinations at TU Graz must sign up as co-registered students. Further information
May 29, 2019
On occasion of the 12th Austrian Cycling Summit from 27 to 29 May 2019 in Graz, we welcomed Prof. Ruth Oldenziel from the Technical University of Eindhoven. Ruth Oldenziel is one of the internationally most renowned experts in bicycle research and gave a keynote at the Graz Cycling Summit on the subject of "Century of Cycling: Pathways towards Sustainability". At the same time, Ruth Oldenziel used her stay to explore Graz on her TU Graz bike. We are pleased about your visit, which also gave us the opportunity to talk about future cooperation with the TU Eindhoven.
The Graz University of Technology was also represented at the 12th Austrian Cycling Summit with a keynote speech by Bernhard Wieser on the subject of "becoming a cycling capital - remaining a cycling capital". Interview with Bernhard Wieser
May 10, 2019
Thank you to all who participated and contributed at this year´s conference. It was a pleasure to meet colleagues from more than 30 countries and from various disciplines to discuss critical issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies.
Save the date: STS Conference Graz 2020, May 4-6
May 3, 2019
From May 6-7 the 18th Annual STS Conference will take place again in Graz. We are looking forward to meeting colleagues to talk about Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies. A varied programme and exciting dicussions will await you.
The first conference day starts with a Keynote from Helge TORGERSEN, ITA/OEAW, Vienna
Back to the Future. Why we did, why we do and why we shall do TA
Sabine Theresia KÖSZEGI, TU Wien
Artificial Intelligence - A Transformative Force: Facing the Challenges ahead!
Aglaiee DEGROS, TU Graz
The Peripherical Challenge. Territorial Justice and New Forms of Mobility
Helge Torgersen ©Walter Peissl Sabine, T. KÖSZEGI ©Luiza Puiu, Aglaee DEGROS ©Foto Hartlauer
April 30, 2019
Bernhard Wieser and colleagues have contribued the following book review: "The power of words. Anthropocene as a wake up call" (Christine Czakler, Robert Herrenbrück, Karl Novacek & Bernhard Wieser (2019): Die Macht der Worte. Anthropozän als Weckruf. In: Heike Egner & Horst Peter Groß (eds.): Das Anthropozän. München: Profil-Verlag, 94-132.).
The term Anthropocene stands for a comprehensive crisis diagnosis of global environmental change. It expresses that with our business practice we engage people in all biological, chemical and geophysical processes, so that the processes are irreversible. This is the approach for an interdisciplinary discussion for advanced students and teachers in a research-related teaching project at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. This book includes perspectives on history, geography, information technology and technology and science research.
April 4, 2019
At the beginning of April, a podcast was released on the Science, Technology and Society Unit (STS Unit). Günter Getzinger (Head of the STS Unit) reports on the effects of technical development on society, and provides insights into the research topics of the working group.
Institutes and colleagues, who are interested in these issues as well as in possible cooperation with our unit, are welcome to contact us.
The event series "In Focus" addresses ethical, political and legal questions in research. The kick-off event on March 11 deals with "The Ethical Challenges of Automated Driving" (moderated by Günter Getziner).
The TU Graz invites its researchers to a discussion about the ethics of automated driving. Automated driving will dominate future road traffic.This will be accompanied by a number of technical, political, legal and ethical challenges.
This event is a cooperation of the Institute of Automotive Engineering, the Science, Technology and Society Unit of the ISDS and the Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity.
Monday, 11 March 2019, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Auditorium of TU Graz, Rechbauerstraße 12, 8010 Graz
Registration required: Armanda Pilinger: a.pilingernoSpam@tugraz.at
January 22, 2019
The Modelling Health project focused on Avatars in medicine. These new technologies offer completely new possibilities of medical practice as virtual assistance systems, e.g. in the field of care. At the same time, questions regarding data protection, acceptance and autonomy of users arise, such as Bernhard Wieser (TU Graz) and Martina Lang (IFZ) as part of the project team, emphasize.
The Ö1 Journal `Matrix - Computers and New Media’ (18.1.2019) was dedicated to this project and addresses the question of how this "artificial health twins" could change our lives.
Responsible of the broadcast: Sylvia Andrews
Interviewpartner: Bernhard Wieser / Sozialwissenschaftler /TU Graz; Ingeborg Holzer / Einsatzleiterin Volkshilfe Murtal, Martina Lang /Soziologin / IFZ Graz; Kurt Zatloukal / Med Uni Graz
December 5, 2018
See our call for abstracs for next year´s STS Conference Graz 2019!
The conference provides a forum to discuss on a broad variety of topics – especially abstracts are encouraged which refer to aspects of the following sessions.
For submitting your abstract, please use the online form.
Submission Deadline: January 28, 2019
November 15, 2018
On 8 and 9 November 2018 Armin Spök and his team held a stakeholder consultation in Berlin to discuss opportunities and challenges for plant breeders, farmers, food and feed processors, regulators, and researchers to use of genome editing techniques in developing new plant varieties. According to a recent ruling of the European Court of Justice plants derived from genome editing are subject to the EU harmonised legislation on genetically modified organisms. This ruling is perceived by scientists and plant breeders to be a major hurdle for breeding innovation but welcomed by environmental organisations.
Armin Spök chaired the two-day consultation together with Matthias Arlt from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. The workshop was organised in the context of ELSA GEA project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
November 7, 2018
Alexander Lang, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Malte Gruber, University of Lucerne and Armin Spök from the TU Graz met in a hearing of the Committee on Science, Education and Culture of the Swiss Federal Council in Bern on the questions of parlamentarians on genome editing. Armin Spök is a consortium partner of a technology assessment project commissioned by the Swiss TA-Swiss Foundation on genome editing.
The Swiss Federal Council has announced its intention to adapt national genetic engineering legislation in order to adapt it to the new technological possibilities and challenges of genome editing.
November 5, 2018
We are pleased to welcome Christian Dayé to the Science, Technology and Society Unit.
Before Christian Dayé worked at the Department of Sociology of the Universtity of Graz and the University of Klagenfurt. His main fields of research are Sociology of science, knowledge and technology, Responsible research and innovation, Social research methods and methodology and Social theory. Currently he is working on the EU-CHIC project led by Armin Spök.
February 28, 2018
Armin Spök was invited as Guest Associate Editor for a Special Issue on "Plant Genome Editing - Policies and Governance" jointly hosted by Frontierts in Plant Science and Plant Biotechnology, Biosafety and Biosecurity. In the field of plant sciences Frontiers runs a number of highly cited open access journals.
September 4, 2018
The STS Conference Graz 2019, May 6-7 is the joint Annual Conference of the Science, Technology and Society Unit - Graz University of Technology, the Inter-Disciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ) and the Institute of Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS).
In our call for sessions we suggest the following thematic fields and we would like to encourage participants to think outside the box by combining thematic fields and considering potential intersections (interactive sessions formats, such as discussion groups, slow talks, etc. are welcome too).
For submitting your session abstract, please use this online form and send an abstract (max. 500 words) no later than October 31, 2018
June 23, 2018
We are expanding our team – Postdoc Researcher (25 hours/week)
thematic focus: technology assessment and responsible development of genome editing
Details regarding the position you will find here
Applications should be written in English and submitted by e-mail to office.stsnoSpam@tugraz.at, Science, Technology and Society Unit, Graz University of Technology, no later than 24.08.2018.
May 14, 2018
From May 7 to May 8, 2018 the 17th Annual STS Conference took place in Graz.
The Science, Technology and Society Unit organized in cooperation with the IFZ Graz and the IAS-STS the 17th Annual STS Conference Graz. The conference offered the oportunity to present and dicuss a broad spectrum on themes in the area of digitalization of society, gender-technology and environment, sustainable food systems, life sciences/biotechnologies and much more.
About 200 reseachers from all over the world presented their work in this fields with a specific focus on critical issues in science, technology and society studies.
Many thanks to all who contributed to the sucess of this event!
April 28, 2018
On the 27th of April 2018, the YEP - Zukunftswerkstatt (WEC - World Energy Council Austria) took place in the premises of the Federation of industrialists. Representatives from NGOs in the field of energy economics, as well as envoys from known energy companies, took part in the WEC-sponsored discussions. At the beginning there was a talk by Günter Getzinger on the topic "The future of the energy industry". Under the moderation of Jürgen Suschek-Berger, the methodology of the Zukunftswerkstatt was explained and subsequently enacted in small groups.