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Miira Hill

PhD Candidate of the 1st Cohort


Subsequent Position

After she received the doctorate, Miira Hill worked in a post-doc position as a research assistant at the Institute of Sociology in the Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today. The reflexive creation of novelety" at the Technical University of Berlin.


Slamming Science. The New Art Of Old Public Science Communication

Lately more and more public science events have developed. In events like science slams scientists are asked to present their knowledge in new ways and speak to an audience of laymen. Such events claim to reach a huge audience even though they have scientific topics. They want to reach the public by means of emotional attachment and artistic demonstration. Through reflexive relations to different disciplines and genres (like poetry slam) new communicative strategies of science are developed. Recent developments of science exploring new public spheres are occurring all over the world. Since the 1980s in Germany and in many other countries there are several innovative events with the goal to translate scientific self-presentation into new settings and to enable the communication between laypeople and experts. 

My project focused on actors who publicly stage their research and themselves in communication processes. One center of attention was the performative appearance of scientists on stage (self-presentation, interaction, space, and things), while the other part was more concerned with the justification of the action (legitimacy). I portrayed why and how communicative actions in science slams are developed in the complex and uncertain relationship between science and publics, and what is evaluated as legitimately scientific in this context. My qualitative analysis of websites, interviews, and videos showed how the genre of science slam demands young people to present scientific knowledge. Science slammers are expected to be outgoing, not afraid to compete, and hungry for attention outside of academia. In competitive presentations slammers are asked to give comprehensible, entertaining, emotional, and short presentations. I suggested that new approaches to communicate science in lecture-based events could be seen as an alternative way of legitimizing science.


Research interest:

  • science and innovation studies
  • science communication
  • sociology of knowledge
  • empirical research
  • science and technology studies
  • sociology of emotions

Hill, M. (2015): “Embodiment of Science in Science Slams. A Case of Informal Public Science Communication”. In: Studying Science Communication. A panel of the EASST2014 Conference (September 17-19th, 2014, Torun, Poland). Organised by Sarah R Davies and Maja Horst. Published in University of West England science communication Postgraduate Papers (ed. Edited by Erik Stengler) ISBN:10 digit: 186043522X13 digit: 9781860435225
Hill, M. (2015): „Science Slam und die Darstellung von ‚Tatsachen‘- eine Vergessenheit der Wissensproduktion?“ Proceedings of the INSIST Conference, Berlin, Germany. Published in Social Science Open Access Repository der GESIS
Hill, M. (im Erscheinen): „Die Versinnbildlichung von Gesellschaftswissenschaft – Herausforderung Science Slam“. In: Öffentliche Wissenschaft und gesellschaftlicher Wandel (Hrsg. Stefan Selke und Annette Treibel). Springer VS
Hill, M. (im Erscheinen): Science Slam und die (Re)Präsentation von Wissenschaft. Neue Einsichten des Kommunikativen Konstruktivismus über Wissenschaftskommunikation in der Popkultur. In: Der Kommunikative Konstruktivismus bei der Arbeit (Hrsg von Jo Reichertz und René Tuma). Juventa Verlag 2016
Publications in the Review-Process
Hill, M.; Wilke, R. (2016): “Visual and aesthetic practices in science communication”. In: Special Issue of Forum Qualitative Research “Visibilities. Multiple Orders and Practices through Visual Discourse Analysis and Beyond” (ed. Traue, Boris; Blanc, Mathias; Cambre, Maria-Carolina). 
"Die Versinnbildlichung der Wissenschaft am Beispiel des Science Slams". Talk at the Knowledge in Action workshop, 28.01.2016 at the TU Berlin.
"Science Slam a New Popularized and Artistic Way of Informal Science Communication. Challenges of Contemporary Science Communication." Talk at the Annual Meeting der Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). Denver, Colorado, 11-14 November, 2015. Conference Programm
"How problems of contemporary science communication concepts become visible in new public genres like the science slam?" Talk at the International Conference on Science, Research and Popular Culture, September 17-18, at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria.
“Is your slam based on facts, or on gags and slapstick?”– How problems o contemporary science communication concepts become visible in new public genres like the science slam. Talk at the workshop STS Approaches to Science Communication, 25-26th June 2015 at the University of Copenhagen.
"Perspektiven, Erfahrungen und Potentiale: Wie viel Wissenschaft braucht die Öffentlichkeit- wie viel Öffentlichkeit verträgt die Wissenschaft?". Panel discussionhosted by the Schader Stiftung, 19.03.2015 in Darmstadt.
"Science Slam und Lecture Performance. Zwei spannende Formate für die Wissenschaftsforschung", Talk at the science studies colloquium at the Humboldt University Berlin, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Lehrbereich Wissenschaftsforschung, 24.11.2014 in Berlin.
"Wissenssoziologische Wissenschaftssoziologie in Zeiten des kommunikativen Konstruktivismus". Talk at the UNDER CONSTRUCTION conference, 13-15 November 2014 in Berlin.
"Science Slam und die Darstellung von 'Tatsachen'- eine Vergessenheit der Wissensproduktion?". Talk at the INSIST conference, 22-23 Oktober 2014 in Berlin.
"Science slam: a new approach of popular science communication". Talk at theEASST 2014 conference, 17- 19th Sept. in Torun.
"Herausforderungen innovativer Wissenschafts- (Re)Präsentation". Talk at the 6. Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation, 11-13th Nov. in Karlsruhe.
"Staging Science: new approaches in science communication, popular and artistic science performance. Talk at the Science in Public Confernence, 22-23th July 2013 in Nottigham.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS), Sektion "Wissenssoziologie"
European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)
Interdisciplinary Network for Studies Investigating Science and Technology (INSIST)
Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)
Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST)
WS 2014/15
"Bildkommunikation: Visualisierungen als kommunikative Formen" (zusammen mit Eric Lettkemann und René Wilke, MA-Seminar, 2 SWS, Institut für Soziologie, TU Berlin) 
WS 2008/09 
„Religion in Contemporary Society“(geleitet von Hubert Knoblauch), Tutorium, 2 SWS, Institut für Soziologie, TU Berlin
WS 2009/10
„Emotions, Culture and Society“, 2 SWS, Institut für Soziologie, TU Berlin
SS 2009
 „The Social Construction of Reality and Other Constructions”, 2 SWS, Institut für Soziologie, TU Berlin
since 07/2018
Modul-Koordinatorin des Methoden-Moduls an der Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg
since 10/2015
Post-Doc Stelle als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Soziologie im Graduiertenkolleg „Innovationsgesellschaft heute. Die reflexive Herstellung des Neuen“an der Technischen Universität Berlin.
Einreichung der Dissertationsschrift und wissenschaftliche Aussprache zur Erlangung des Dr. phil., TU Berlin, Fakultät VI, Gesamturteil: magna cum laude (Gutachter:  Prof. Dr. Hubert Knoblauch und Prof. Dr. Martin Reinhart). Titel: Slamming Science. The New Art Of Old Public Science Communication
Doktorandin im DFG geförderten Graduiertenkolleg „Innovationsgesellschaft heute. Die reflexive Herstellung des Neuen“, Institut für Soziologie, Technische Universität Berlin
Diploma Sociology (Minor Subject: Technical Protection of the Environment, Institute of Sociology, TU Berlin)
Thesis: „Coaching Emotions. Zur sozialen Konstruktion von Emotionen und Gefühlsregeln in der betrieblichen Mitarbeiterberatung“
Research and Teaching Assistant, TU Berlin, Institute of Sociology, Department General Sociology, Prof. Dr. Knoblauch
Semester Abroad, San Francisco State University
Pre-Degree Sociology, Institute of Sociology, University of Bielefeld
Research Assistant, University of Bielefeld, Institute für Gesundheitswissenschaften, AG 8 Demographie und Gesundheit, Prof. Dr. Ulrich

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