Current Summer School 2019


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Dr. Jack Stilgoe (University College London)
Responsible Innovation Cultures
Monday, 14 October, 5 pm (Opening Talk)

Dr. Michael Penkler, Dr. Katrin Hahn (TUM, MCTS)
Responsibility in Teaching
Tuesday, 15 October, 9 am

Dr. Stevienna de Saille (University of Sheffield)
RRI in a no-growth economy
Wednesday, 16 October, 9 am

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Pfotenhauer (TUM, MCTS)
National Differences in Innovation
Thursday, 17 October, 9 am


Prof. Sarah R. Davies, PhD (University of Copenhagen): Public Engagement as a Responsibility-Practice
In this workshop we will consider responsibility in the context of the relationship between research (and research institutions) and society. We will briefly explore how publicly-funded research in universities and other research organisations has, over time, been understood as relating to the societies that fund it, and what responsibilities – such as carrying out science communication or public engagement – scholars are seen as owing citizens. In the second half of the workshop, we make this a reflexive exploration by thinking about our own responsibilities. What, if anything, do we owe wider society or particular communities, how can we experiment with carrying out (responsible) public engagement, and how do the organisational contexts in which we work define or shape these responsibilities and opportunities?

PD Dr. Jan-Hendrik Passoth, Nikolaus Pöchhacker (TUM, MCTS): Response-able Infrastructures and Public/Democratic Value
“[I]nfrastructure refers to those systems, technologies, organizations, and built artifacts that do not need to be reconsidered at the start of a new venture” (Slota & Bowker, 2017, p. 529). As such, infrastructures have a tremendous impact on the structure of social life and everyday practices. In our workshop we want to address the political dimensions of infrastructures and raise the question of how central digital infrastructures are becoming defining moments of contemporary democratic societies and look at the role of engineers in realizing these infrastructures by looking at two different cases of infrastructures. Following the Chantal Mouffe's theory of agnostic pluralism, we will work together on the question of how such infrastructures could be re-built to include possibilities for moderated dissent and conflict to make them response-able to different values, ideas and perspectives without stabilizing a "temporary result of a provisional hegemony" (Mouffe, 1999, p. 755) and how such ideas can be imported in Higher Education Programms for engineers, confronting the idea of formulating definitive solutions and creating a mindset that enables response-able infrastructures.

Sarah Blacker, PhD (TUM, MCTS): Responsibility and Diverse Knowledge Cultures
This workshop considers how the particular needs of technology users are conceptualized by scientists and engineers within universities as an institutional context, drawing attention to the diversity of knowledge cultures that collectively comprise this "public" of technology users. To this end, the workshop will focus on the knowledges, perspectives, and interests of those who are often excluded from consideration in scientific study design and technological development. We will engage with non-Western, indigenous, decolonizing, and feminist approaches to scientific and technological practices as a way to think beyond what Cech et al. have characterized as "epistemological imperialism" in science: the lack of space for epistemic diversity in universities that has directly contributed to the lack of diversity in STEM fields (Cech et al., 2017). Taking up Sandra Harding's call to "include in scientific decision making the groups that heretofore have been excluded from participating in decisions about research that has effects on their lives" (Harding, 2015, xi), we will work together to develop recommendations on new ways that scientists and engineers can integrate responsibility and accountability to diverse knowledge cultures into their work.

Prof. Maximilian Fochler, Dr. Lisa Sigl (University of Vienna): Tracing and Reflecting Responsibility in Research Practices
Responsibility tends to be discussed in rather abstract ways in much of the relevant literature, and relating it to actual research practices can be challenging both for scientists themselves and for research on responsibility in STS and HES. In this workshop, we will address this challenge by discussing how responsibility can be traced in actual research practices, and how RRI interventions can empower researchers to reflect on responsibility in their own practices. We will also consider the role of institutional structures and boundary conditions in enabling and constraining researchers to act responsibly in their practices.

Dr. Nina Witjes (University of Vienna): Response-abilities in International Security Policy
This workshop is situated at the intersection of STS and Critical Security Studies. We will explore the role of technological innovation and knowledge practices in different securitization processes, both on the national and global level. Tracing the entanglements between industries, research institutions, politics, and users, we discuss how visions about sociotechnical vulnerabilities are co-produced with security devices and policy, and how novel security technologies interact with issues of responsibility and democracy.

Prof. Dr. Liudvika Leisyte (TU Dortmund University): Responsible Higher Education Governance
Higher education governance has been transformed in the past decades towards more institutional autonomy of higher education institutions while at the same time more accountability to funders and regulators. Neo-liberal government reforms have brought a range of external stakeholders representing civic society and industry into higher education governance through membership and participation in university boards, priority setting committees for science and higher education, and quality evaluation processes. In this context, the reflection on the meanings of responsible governance of higher education is highly pertinent questioning the types of actors, policy coalitions and a variety of interests represented in governing quality, equity and funding of higher education. The workshop will invite students to discuss main characteristics, advantages and limitations of responsible higher education governance and reflect on higher education governance in their respective countries.

Experimental Training

Prof. Oliver Szasz (Macromedia University, Munich): Design Thinking
With the help from experts in design thinking, the participants will engage in prototyping responsible innovations. Design thinking relies on ones's ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express oneself through means beyond words. This experience regularly produces interesting insights into responsible collaboration without (complete) consensus – both with regard to the procedure and the final product.

Site Visits

TUM Campus Garching
The summer school will be held at the TUM Campus Garching, a venue predestined for debating responsible innovation cultures. Situated in the North of Munich, Campus Garching is the largest of all the TUM locations and home to five faculties (Chemistry, Informatics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics) and several university centers (e.g. Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Munich School of Engineering (MSE)), all of which are focused on top-level research and innovation.

TUM MakerSpace
As an entrepreneurial university, TUM fosters a supportive environment for innovation – part of which is MakerSpace. Please join a tour through the 1500-square-meter high-tech workshop, which provides members with access to machines, tools and software as well as with a creative community, and which serves as a place to realize ideas and innovations in the form of prototypes and small batch production.


Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller

Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS)

The Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) is an Integrative Research Center at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). As one of the most prominent centers for Science and Technology Studies (STS) in Germany, it is dedicated to understanding and reflexively shaping the multiple interactions between science, technology and society.