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Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty


The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Mahendra Shahare

We are happy to welcome Mahendra Shahare as a visiting fellow. Mahendra is an STS scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He holds a Master’s degree by research in Product Design (Indian Institute of Science Bangalore), and another Master's in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (University of Twente). Employing the framework of sociology of expectations, Mahendra’s doctoral dissertation explores the

© Mahendra Shahare

emergence of a new research field (synthetic biology). In his thesis he interlinks the future-oriented discourse on scientific and technological change through the tropes of expectations, resistance, and legitimation. During his visiting fellowship at our graduate school, Mahendra intends to examine how the do it yourself bio movement expands innovation fields and corresponding social processes that engender reflexivity.

Mahendra will be at the graduate school until the end of January.

The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Dr. Judith Igelsböck

We are happy to welcome Judith Igelsböck as Visiting Fellow. Judith studied sociology and science and technology studies at the University of Vienna. In 2016, she joined the Post/Doc Lab Reorganizing Industries of the MCTS as a postdoctoral researcher. Currently, she is conducting research there on shifting, dissolving and reinforced industrial borders together with colleagues from the Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT), France. Since October 2018, she is also the PI

© Anna Montemayor

of the Project ‘Upper Austrian Innovation Scripts’ – an inquiry and artistic intervention into the organization of innovation activities – at the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) of the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU). Judith has worked in various social scientific research areas, including human computer and human robot interaction, work studies, science and technology studies, and innovation and organisation studies. Her main current research interest is the fusion of theatrical play and innovation research.

Judith will be at the graduate school until the end of January.

15th IRS International Lecture with Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia) in cooperation with the Graduate School

The 15th IRS International Lecture on Society and Space with Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia) on "Experiments at the edge: ecological crisis, resource security, and core-periphery dynamics in global production networks" will take place on November 20, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be hosted by the IRS in cooperation with the SFB "Re-Figuration of Spaces" and the Graduate School “Innovation Society Today”.

Further information and registration link can be found here.

Summer School ‘Innovation and Its Others: Neglected aspects of creative destruction’

On 21 and 22 June 2019, the summer school on ‘Innovation and Its Others: Neglected aspects of creative destruction’ organized by the Graduiertenkolleg 'Innovationsgesellschaft heute' took place at the Institute of Sociology of the TU Berlin. Its starting point was the observation that the scientific study of innovation(s) is largely characterized by a 'pro-innovation bias', as it mostly considers innovations to be fundamentally desirable, grasps resistance to innovation per se as deviation and does not sufficiently analyse the negative effects of innovations. The summer school wanted to focus on these aspects of innovation research, which to date have been largely neglected. Against this background, on the first day of the summer school, the members of the Graduate School had the opportunity to take part in a workshop led by Prof. Martin Bauer of the London School of Economics on the one hand and Prof. Benoît Godin of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montréal on the other. The workshops dealt with the phenomenon and analytical potential of resistance to innovation (Bauer) and with the terminological history of the concept of innovation and its contingency (Godin). In both workshops, at first core texts of the workshop leaders were discussed in order to subsequently relate the core statements found there to the research projects of the participants.

            Building on the workshops of the first day, a conference with keynotes by Martin Bauer and Benoît Godin as well as presentations by members of the Research Training Group took place on the second day of the Summer School. In his lecture, Martin Bauer focused on the functional analogy of resistance and pain, thus illustrating the analytical fertility of the study of resistance practices for the understanding of innovation phenomena. In his lecture, Benoît Godin presented the long and varied history of the concept of innovation and thus showed that the dominant position of the concept of innovation in contemporary society and its positive connotation are by no means self-evident. The presentations of the members of the Research Training Group, on the other hand, were able to show that the focus on 'the other' of innovation research enables productive questions and perspectives on innovation phenomena and that there is still a great need for research.

Workshop with Prof. Herbert Kalthoff on ‘Theoretical Empiricism’

On 4 and 5 July 2019, a two-day workshop with Prof. Dr. Herbert Kalthoff on 'Theoretical Empiricism' took place at the Institute for Sociology of the TU Berlin as part of the Research Training Group 'Innovation Society Today'. The main subject of the workshop was the relationship between theory and empiricism with regard to the research process in projects that work with qualitative, especially ethnographic approaches. The starting point was the fundamental insight that empirical research always operates with theoretical (pre-)assumptions – be they scientific theories or theories of everyday life. After the relationship between theory and empiricism had initially been discussed using selected texts from the volume Theoretical Empiricism, the interdependence of the two poles of sociological research could be reconstructed by examining various data examples. In a final step, the participants had the opportunity to discuss 'empirical snippets' of the data already collected. These were coded into two groups in a procedure based on Grounded Theory and the resulting (preliminary) results were condensed into analytical notes.

Workshop on ‘Value Trails in Innovation – Empirical Objects and Reflexivity’ with Poonam Pandey


On 10 July 2019, a half-day workshop with the visiting fellow of the graduate school ‘innovation society today’, Dr. Poonam Pandey, took place at the Institute of Sociology of Technische Universität Berlin. The aim of the workshop was to reflexively visualize the activity of valuing implicit in the studies of innovation, technology and society. In the first part of the workshop, a paper from Frank Heuts and Annemarie Mol titled “What Is a Good Tomato? A Case of Valuing in Practice” was discussed and the specific contribution of valuation studies for innovation studies was debated. In the second part of the workshop, all participants correlated their own projects to the analytical approach developed in the paper of Heuts & Mol in general, and to their concept of distinguishing empirical registers of valuing in specific. The exercise adopted a reflexive mapping technique by drawing the value trails that relate the actors and the empirical objects. The participants also reflected on their own positions (actors/analysts/both) in relation to the empirical objects, actors and value trails.

Katharina Scheidgen organizes Herrenhausen Symposium


Together with Suntje Schmidt (HU Berlin) and Timo Braun (FU Berlin) our doctoral student Katharina Scheidgen (from the 2nd cohort) raised funds for the symposium "Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems" from the Volkswagen Foundation. Leading scientists from sociology, economic geography, entrepreneurship and management research were invited to discuss the potential of the concept "entrepreneurial ecosystems" on 1st and 2nd July 2019 in Herrenhausen Castle in Hannover, Germany. Further information can be found at www.tdee-symposium.org

Impressions from the Field Theory and Research Practice Workshop with Carla Ilten

As part of the Graduate School Innovation Society Today at the Institute for Sociology of TU Berlin, a one-day workshop on „field theory and research practice“ took place on the 29th of may 2019. Lead by Carla Ilten (UIC Chicago), the first part of the workshop dealt with different approaches of field theory and their historical evolvement. The second part of the workshop focussed on how fields are integrated in the individual research projects of the participants.

The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Lauren Kilgour


We are happy to welcome Lauren Kilgour as a visiting fellow from May. Lauren is an Information Science PhD Student at Cornell University. She studies the culture and politics of networked technologies, with a particular focus on their design and use. Her dissertation project, “Designing Difference: Electronic Ankle Monitors, Inequality, and the Politics of Technological Innovation," considers these broader research foci in the context of electronic ankle monitors used to digitally track justice-involved people released back into communities during probation, parole, or pretrial supervision. As a result, her work engages with research in sociology, science and technology studies, human-computer interaction, design, law and policy, and surveillance studies.

Lauren will be at the Graduate School until the end of July.

The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Poonam Pandey

We are happy to welcome Poonam Pandey as a research fellow from May. Poonam Pandey is a research fellow at the Department of Science and Technology-Centre for Policy Research (DST-CPR) at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. She has completed a post-doc from Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, The Netherlands and Ph. D from Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Most of her work on emerging technologies in the domain of agriculture, energy and health builds on the interdisciplinary approaches of Science and Technology Studies, Innovation Studies and development studies. She is a board member for the Society of New and Emerging Technologies (S.NET 2019-2022). During this fellowship, Poonam will work towards understanding the (relational) processes (of valorizing and evaluating) through which 'value' is understood, created, transferred and destroyed in different innovation approaches (such as innovation systems, Responsible Research and Innovation, frugal innovations, and inclusive innovations to name a few).

Poonam will be at the Graduate School until the end of July.

Georg Fischer's thesis defense

Georg Fischer succesfully defended his dissertation "Urheberrecht und Kreativität in der samplingbasierten Musikproduktion" on April 8.

The Graduate School congratulates Georg Fischer on completing his research project and wishes him all the best.

Maximilian von Laer's thesis defense

Maximilian von Laer of the second cohort successfully defended his thesis on March 20. The title of his dissertation is "Innovation strategies of emerging markets: China’s use of standardization as a strategic tool for global dominance".

The Graduate School congratulates Maximilian von Laer on completing his dissertation and wishes him continuing success in his future career.

Impressions from the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse Workshop with Reiner Keller

On 10 and 11 January 2019, a two-day workshop with Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller from University of Augsburg on his Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) took place as part of the Graduate School Innovation Society Today at the Institute for Sociology of TU Berlin. After a first part, which dealt with the theoretical foundations of the WDA and included excursions into the history and development of discourse theory, the second part dealt with the methodological and methodological assumptions of SKAD, in the context of which exemplary empirical material was analyzed. In the course of the workshop, the participants also had the opportunity to present and discuss their own research projects.

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Dominika Hadrysiewicz
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Prof. Dr. Arnold Windeler

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Prof. Dr. Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer
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Silke Kirchhof

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Postal Address
DFG-GRADUATE SCHOOL "Innovation Society Today: The reflexive creation of novelty"
Department of Sociology
FH 9-1
Technische Universität Berlin
Fraunhoferstraße 33-36
10587 Berlin