Research Programme

The Friedrich Schiedel Chair for the Sociology of Science plays a pioneering role in the scientific research carried out in the social sciences. We focus on the analysis of technologised life in technologised knowledge-based societies. How are societies which are technologised in virtually all areas of activity arranged and how do they continuously keep technologising themselves? By raising this issue the Sociology of Science also contributes to the following general TUM programmes: the MCTS, Engineering Society as well as to the specific configuration of the research fields of Science and Technology Studies STS as TechnoScienceStudies TSS. We are concerned with the investigation of techno-social relationships or – reformulated to suit temporal diagnostics – with the contours of an emerging technosociety

Technology & Science

The new challenges of the social studies of science result from an increasing interlocking of technology and science. On one hand, technology is determined and facilitated by scientific knowledge; on the other, the application-orientation of technical innovation changes the expectations and challenges of scientific practice. They are becoming increasingly condensed into what is ideally discussed as TechnoScience: technology is becoming more and more scientised, science is becoming increasingly more oriented towards the production of functioning technology.

 

Science & Society

TechnoScience is embedded into a knowledge-based society. The increasing importance of application-oriented research influences the conditions for the production of scientific knowledge and not only forces cooperative forms of knowledge production between disciplines (interdisciplinarity), but also with non-scientific actors (transdisciplinarity). The scientising of society is intertwined with an increasing socialisation of science: Science must increasingly base itself on social requirements. Some keywords here: Responsible Research & Innovation, Grand Challenges.

 

Technology & Society

A knowledge-based society is a technologised society. It is not only shaped by new material technologies, for example technical products and process technologies, but also by social technologies which create new forms of sociality, for example new public management, participatory technology assessment and technologies of the self, which create specific subjectivities, for example selfmeasurement practices of daily life and therapies. The interactions of these technologies in technologically advanced worlds of knowledge shape the outlines of modern society in the form of a technosociety.

 

Exploring Technosociety: Research Along Four Dimensions

The objective of our research is to substitute the still vague auxiliary concepts of science research on describing present-day society, for example hybrid, blurred, post- or mode, with theorems which are analytically more meaningful. How can one better describe the new pervasive relationships of science, technology and society from a sociological perspective than has been the case up to now? Research projects at the Chair approach this undertaking along four dimensions of technosociety in which the new interconnections of science, technology and society are distinctly highlighted and, after sociological clarification, require: knowledge, organisation, sociality and nature. Each of these dimensions is the focus of two research projects.