Prof. Dr. Silke Beck

Professor for Sociology of Science

Since 2022 Silke Beck is the chair of Sociology of science and technology at TUM. Her research focuses on interfaces between science and society ( She is a pioneer in analyzing environmental assessments such as the IPCC (;

Her research contributes to understand, build up and design global environmental assessments (; Current projects deal with evidence-based policymaking ( as well as the governance of socio-technical transformations ( in the field of climate change (, Negative Emission Technologies (;,  biodiversity ( and agriculture as well digitalization.

Beck holds a Magistra Artium in Political Science/ Germanistik (University of Heidelberg) and doctorate (Dr.rer.soc.) from the University of Bielefeld. After an academic year (Harvard University), she worked for 20 years in the field of technology assessment and interdisciplinary environmental research (, she was nominated as lead expert for the IPBES assessment of transformative change ( and received the UFZ transfer prize.

ORCID 0000-0002-4157-0777

Stages Periods and Details
Magistra Artium (Political Science, Germanistik) October 1985 February 1996


University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, GE




July 1996 – October 2000


Ph.D. studies: Science and Technology Studies, Sociology; Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, GE

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. P. Weingart, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, GE

Stages of academic career



Research Fellow



Sept. 1999 October 2000


Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge/ Ma. USA

Research Scientist



August 2000 – June 2005


Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Research Centre Karlsruhe/ GE

Senior Research Scientist June 2005 – June 2015


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig/ GE

Subprogram Leader/Group Leader



June 2015 – June 2021


Acting Chair Environmental Politics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig/ GE

Associate Professor



2014: Guest professorship (Universitätsprofessur), Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna, A
  2021-2022: Acting Chair, Friedrich Schiedel-Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftssoziologie, TUM/ GE
Full Professor (W3) and Chair Since 2022:


W3 Full Professor and Chair of Sociology of Science and Technology, TU Munich, GE

Global environmental expertise as well evidence-based policy-making on climate change, biodiversity and transformation towards sustainability

Category A

Beck, S., & Oomen, J. (2021). Imagining the corridor of climate mitigation–What is at stake in IPCC’s politics of anticipation? Environmental Science & Policy 123, 169-178,

Beck, S. et al. (2021). The governance of sociotechnical transformations to sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 49, 143-152.

Díaz-Reviriego, I., Turnhout, E. & Beck, S. (2019). Participation and inclusiveness in the Intergovernmental Science – Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Nature Sustainability 2(5), 457-464

Beck, S. & Mahony, M. (2018). The IPCC and the new map of science and politics. WIREs Climate Change

9(5), e547.

Beck, S. & Mahony, M. (2017). The IPCC and the politics of anticipation. Nature Climate Change 7(5), 311-313.

Lövbrand, E., Beck, S., et al. (2015). Who speaks for the future of Earth? How critical social science can extend the conversation on the Anthropocene. Global Environmental Change 32

, 211-218.

Geden, O. & Beck, S. (2014). Renegotiating the global climate stabilization target. Nature Climate Change

4, 747-748.

Beck, S. (2012). The challenges of building cosmopolitan climate expertise: The case of Germany. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 3 (1), 1-17.

Beck, S. (2011). Moving beyond the linear model of expertise? IPCC and the test of adaptation. Regional Environmental Change

11(2): 297-306.

Hulme, M., Beck, S. et al. (2011). Science-policy interface: Beyond assessments. Science

333(6043), 697-698. 10.1126/science.333.6043.697


Category B

Beck, S. & Pfotenhauer, S.M. (2021). Germany. In S. Jasanoff, S. et al. (eds.). Comparative Covid response: crisis, knowledge, politics. Schmidt Futures Forum Report. Cornell University and Harvard Kennedy School.

Beck, S., & Forsyth, T. (2019). Bridging science and culture: participation and representation of transformative change in biodiversity assessments. Seeds of Change: Provocations for a New Research Agenda

, 54-58.

Ammann, T., Baatz, C., Bauer, N., Beck, S. et al (2019). Climate engineering and our climate targets-a long-overdue debate. DFG Broschüre des SPP 1689,

Geden, O. & Beck, S. (2015). Klimapolitik am Scheideweg. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 65

(31-32), 12-18.

Deutsches Klima-Konsortium (DKK) (2015). Perspektiven für die Klimaforschung 2015 bis 2025: Positionspapier.


Beck, S., et al. (2011). Synergien und Konflikte von Strategien und Maßnahmen zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel. Climate Change, 18,

Beck, S. (2010). Vertrauen geschmolzen? Zur Glaubwürdigkeit der Klimaforschung. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 32, 15-21.

Mickwitz, P., Aix, F., Beck, S., et al. (2009). Climate policy integration, coherence and governance. Synthesis Report of PEER Climate Change Initiative – Project 2. http://peer-

Bechmann, G., Beck, S., et al. (1996). Sozialwissenschaftliche Konzepte einer interdisziplinaeren Klimawirkungsforschung. Endbericht. Wissenschaftliche Berichte FZKA 5715. doi: 10.5445/IR/270039081

2022 – today   Editorial Board, Environmental Science and Policy

2014 – 2021   Senior Editor for the Oxford research encyclopedia of climate science

2005 – 2018   Co-Chair of the Working Group SCIENCE IN SOCIETY/ DKK/ GE

2007 – 2019   Steering committee of the DFG SPP 1689 Climate Engineering

2020 – today   Lead expert/ Intergovernmental platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (Ipbes) assessment of transformative change

2014 – 2021   Co-speaker of the Working Group Politics, Science and Technology/ (DVPW)

2020 – today   Member of the Advisory Board for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): Feasibility of afforestation and biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (FAB- GGR)

2020 – today   Member of the Advisory Board for the Norwegian research council: Understanding the international context for Norway’s low-emission economy transition (CONNECT)

2020 – today   Member of the Advisory Board: FORMAS: Opening the portfolio of negative emissions technologies: A comprehensive study of social, techno-economic and ethical dimensions of biomass-based NETs in Sweden and Tanzania

2020– today    Member of the Advisory Board for FORMAS: Tradeoffs between negative emissions and near-term emission reductions?