Knowledge, Technology, and Environment


The “Knowledge – Technology – Environment" research unit is concerned with knowledge forms, epistemic cultures and their practical foundations. It also deals with the conditions and modes of action of technologies and techniques as well as with practical everyday and political questions related to the environment. This young research unit thus presents an exciting range of teaching and research fields in the areas of science and technology research, sociology of knowledge and environment as well as philosophy of social sciences. As a forum for research and discussion, the research unit integrates and challenges a range of analytical and methodical approaches. Represented, amongst others, are action theory, praxeological and institutionalist as well as post-structuralist and conflict theory foci.

Research unit members investigate questions on socio-technological innovation, knowledge cultures and their infrastructures, generation of inequality through the medium of technology, but also on disputes over academic validity claims and on arenas of science and technology critique. In teaching, the research unit offers research-oriented, theoretical and methodically integrated courses.


Courses in the BA in Sociology regularly comprise introductions to the sociology of science, technology, and environment as well as foundation classes in historical preconditions and social consequences of genetic and reproductive medicine technologies. There are also courses on the sociology of the body, feminist science and technology research as well as introductions to practice research methods.

Courses in the MA in Sociology regularly offer advanced studies in the sociology of science, technology and environment as well as classes in the social theory of biopolicy, recent developments in feminist technoscience studies, including the queer theory, post-colonial perspectives on science and technology as well as interdisciplinary topics in the area of societal relations to nature. There are also advanced methodology classes which combine modern ethnographic and discourse analysis methods.

The research unit also coordinates the module on “Social-Ecological Research" in the interdisciplinary Masters programme in Environmental Sciences.

In addition, classes are offered in the area of teacher training which present the social, political and ethical implications of the biosciences as well as engaging in critical confrontation with concepts and formats of scientific communication and dissemination of knowledge.

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke