Podcast: Socio-technical Integration Research (STIR) – Interview with Erik Fisher from Arizona State University


The interview is available on the new subpage "podcasts".

Erik Fisher is an associate professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University and spends the fall semester 2018 in Karlsruhe working with colleagues at ITAS and ITZ. He is a leader in the field of socio-technical integration, a field that he has founded and brought to international academic recognition, followed by considerable research and policy uptake. At KIT, Fisher was leading a series of introductory workshops on the Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) approach and participated in various workshops, among others in a workshop on Socio-Technical Integration organized by Alexandra Hausstein (program). 


At Arizona State University Fisher directs the STIR Cities project, which studies and compares diverse organizations in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon working on smart grid technologies. Supported by a National Science Foundation grant, the project develops the notion of local and regional sociotechnical imaginaries and brings social science engagement out of the laboratory and into the (smart) city. Fisher is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Responsible Innovation. Formerly, he served as director of the STIR project and of a PhD program in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, as well as associate director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.


In this interview with Joshua Bayless, Erik Fisher describes STIR as a methodto investigate the possibility and utility of incorporating social and ethical considerations directly into scientific research and technology development. 

Workshop: Technology’s Temporal Regimes: Past, Present and Futures

International Workshop, Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ), KIT, Nov. 29-30, 2018

Organizers: Armin Grunwald, Annette Leßmöllmann, Marcus Popplow, and Heike Weber

Our workshop brings together researchers from history, sociology, communication sciences, and philosophy to tackle the question of temporal regimes inscribed into or attributed to technology through materiality, discourse, or practices. The term “temporal regimes” of technologies puts the time dimension center stage in our thinking about technology. We argue that past, present, and future technologies cannot be treated as distinct entities. Rather, societies have been, are, and will be confronted with a complex set of technologies which pertain to different and diverse temporal regimes and in which past, present and future are superimposed in hybrid ways. We see this workshop as an initial step towards developing new questions and theoretical frameworks on the temporal dimensions of our technological world and the way we interact with them. 

Link to the Programme

Workshop mit Kirsten Meyer (HU Berlin)


In Ihrem neuen Buch „Was schulden wir künftigen Generationen? Herausforderung Zukunftsethik“ (Reclam 2018) diskutiert Kirsten Meyer die Frage, wozu wir zukünftigen Personen gegenüber verpflichtet sind und worin unsere Pflichten gründen. In einem Workshop am 5.12.2018 wird dieses Buch ausgehend von Kommentaren gemeinsam mit der Autorin diskutiert.

Alle sind herzlich eingeladen! Die Veranstaltung findet statt von 14:00 bis 16:30 in der Douglasstr. 24, 5. OG, Raum 511. Um vorherige Anmeldung bis zum 30.11.2018 wird gebeten (per E-Mail an Yvonne Siegrist, yvonne.siegrist∂kit.edu).

Workshop Tongji University and KIT “Industrie 4.0/Made in China 2025 as socio-technical transformation”

The aim of this workshop is to arrive at a true cooperative level of joint research regarding the status of Industrie 4.0 in Germany and Made in China 2025 in China as vision in different national, institutional and disciplinary settings. The focus lies, both, on the models and visions as well as on the national strategies for putting this vision in practice and its actual and expected societal impacts. The challenges, we are facing are not only to bridge national cultures and strategies but also to integrate disciplinary knowledge from Engineering Sciences and Social Sciences and Humanities. Public debate around digitalization of production systems show that on the long run we have to face questions of future of work in highly industrialized societies at a global scale. Therefore, we conceptualize this workshop to be interdisciplinary and comparative, allowing for debate and common reflection.

Link to the schedule of the workshop

Christian Seidel has been appointed as Professor for Philosophical Anthropology

Prof Seidel

Christian Seidel has been appointed as Professor for Philosophical
Anthropology at KIT's Institute of Philosophy/Institute of Technology
Futures. His research interests include:

  • personal autonomy, self-determination, and practical identity
  • philosophical questions about climate, environment, sustainability and energy
  • foundational problems of moral philosophy and practical deliberation
  • systematic ethics of risk and ethics of future people
  • British moral and social philosophy in the 19th century

One of the key aims of the professorship is to investigate concepts
which are essential to human self-understanding and which figure
prominently in questions about the relation between humanity, nature
and technology – concepts such as „autonomy“, „risk“,
„responsibility“, „privacy“, or „hubris“. By attending to applied
contexts (e.g. social robotics, big data, energy systems, automation,
or geoengineering), the professorship will contribute to reflecting on
– often technology-driven – transformations in how we understand
ourselves and our world.

ISUS 2018

ISUS poster

15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), July 24–26, 2018. 

The main theme of the conference is ‘Utility, Progress and Technology’. The conference will be supported by KIT’s Institute of Technology Futures as well as the recently founded German Society for Utilitarian Studies. Local hosts are Michael Schefczyk and Christoph Schmidt-Petri.

For more information see www.isus2018.de.

3. INSIST-Nachwuchstagung: Von Menschen und Maschinen. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das Verhältns von Gesellschaft und Technik in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft | 05.10.2018–07.10.2018.


Die menschliche Lebenswelt ist in weiten Teilen durch die Verfügbarkeit von und den Umgang mit Maschinen geprägt. Fragen danach, wie sich das Verhältnis zwischen Menschen und Maschinen gestaltet hat, gestaltet und zukünftig gestalten wird, geben daher vielfältigen Anlass zur Diskussion – und zwar nicht nur im Hinblick auf die Konsequenzen technischer Entwicklungen für das gesellschaftliche Zusammenleben, sondern auch im Hinblick auf das ontologische Verständnis des “Menschlichen” und des “Technischen” sowie auf die Etablierung theoretisch-methodischer Zugänge und Beschreibungssprachen.

Gerahmt durch zwei Keynotes von Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger (RWTH Aachen) und Prof. Dr. Martina Heßler (HSU Hamburg), soll die interdisziplinäre Nachwuchstagung “Von Menschen und Maschinen” verschiedene Möglichkeiten eröffnen, an aktuelle Forschungen und Debatten um das Verhältnis von Menschen und Maschinen anzuknüpfen.

International Workshop: Waste Recycling, War and Occupation: A Transnational Perspective on World War II | 14.06.2018-15.06.2018


Times of war drive enhanced resource exploitation. Salvage is thus one essential and yet underexplored characteristic of industry, business, and society in warring nations. It challenges historiography in several ways. For one, waste and recycling often represent grey areas of economic activity, including the black market or informal work such as volunteer or forced labor. For another, waste handling pervades industrial production as well as everyday life, and under conditions of war and shortage, it became both a political means to mobilize the ‘home front’ and a way for individuals to survive constant shortages.

The international workshop “Waste Recycling, War and Occupation: A Transnational Perspective on World War II,” organized by Heike Weber (KIT) and Chad Denton  (Yonsei University) thus aims to bring together the different historical sub-fields that have carried out research on wartime recycling so far, in particular, business history, the history of war and society, the history of technology, and environmental history. The workshop will analyze the scope and impact that recycling had during World War II, both for several regions and for different industrial branches. Additionally, it will ask what impact wartime recycling had on later patterns of resource use.

W1-Junior Professorship in History of Technology and Environmental History




The Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ) of the KIT-Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences within Division II - Informatics, Economics, and Society of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology invites, as soon as possible, applications for a fixed-term (4 years + 2 years after positive evaluation) 

W1-Junior Professorship in History of Technology and Environmental History 

(without Tenure Track Option) We seek a historian with a well-grounded knowledge of the concepts and methods of the history of technology as well as expertise in environmental history, particularly within the fields of the history of materials, resources or energy …

Link to the description

Full Professorship (W3) in Sociology II



Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) – The Research University in the Helmholtz Association creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is our goal to make significant contributions to mastering the global challenges of mankind in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9300 employees of KIT cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in research, academic education, and innovation.
The Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ) at the KIT-Department for Humanities and Social Sciences within Division II - Informatics, Economics, and Society – invites applications for a

Full Professorship (W3) in Sociology II
The professorship will be the scientific head of the Methodology Lab at KIT’s House of Competence (HoC).


Link to the announcement (pdf)