Mittwoch, 28. Juni 2023, 17:30 - 18:30 iCal

STS Talk by Michael Guggenheim

Short is Beautiful: A Normative ANT on How to Tackle Ecological Problems

STS Seminarroom, NIG, St. II. 6th floor
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna


We are happy to announce Michael Guggenheim's STS talk on 28th June 2023, 5.30 pm.



In my talk, I want to bring together two recent development in STS and related social sciences: First, there has been a proliferation and debate of concepts around an impending global crisis: climate crisis, anthropocene, gaia, capitalocene and plantationcene have all been offered to diagnose and make sense of our current predicament. At the same time there has been a resurgent interest within STS and ANT specifically to devise new forms of critique and normative approaches. However, such approaches curiously locate problems in master concepts and agents of change in a new ecological class or resort to pre-existing argents agents such as capitalism as hindering change. Such approaches therefore militate against the analytical and methodological logics of STS which seek to understand socio-technical problems as outcomes of socio-technical networks. In my talk I want to take up some principles of Actor -Network Theory to begin to explore a normative theory of ecological problems.




Michael Guggenheim has studied in Zürich and Berlin, and obtained a PhD in Sociology in 2005 from the University of Zürich. Prior to coming to the UK, Michael worked and researched in Budapest, Vienna, Montreal, and Berlin. Michael has taught both artists at art schools and natural scientists at technical universities, which has informed his understanding of how to teach sociology and how it can be used to intervene in the world. He has always found it important to work and experiment with different media and produce both theoretical texts but also visual and sensory works. Michael's work thus far has been defined by different yet connected themes relating to the relationship between experts and lay people, the role of objects for this relationship and on methodical and theoretical innovation derived from the combination of science studies with sociological theory. Michael was the lead PI on the ERC-funded project "Organising Disaster: Civil Protection and the Population", which looked at how disaster experts conceive of the population.Prior to Organising Disaster, Michael worked on change of use of buildings and how materiality and use interrelate. For a PhD, Michael studied environmental experts and how they produce the environment at the intersection of science, politics and the economy. Michael also worked with colleagues Bernd Kräftner and Judith Kröll on an approach that they called “incubation” that combines sociology and art. Currently, they are working on a project "In the Event of... Anticipatory and Participatory Politics of Emergency Provision". Previously, Michael was a co-curator of "die wahr/falsch inc.", an exhibition on science and the public in Vienna.


Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Department for Science and Technology Studies


Karin Neumann
Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung