Innovation, Society & Public Policy (Innovation Research)

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Pfotenhauer

The STS research group Innovation, Society and Public Policy (ISPP) investigates the social, politics, ethical and knowledge foundations and consequences of today’s innovation-driven societies, both at the level public policy (e.g. national and regional innovation strategies, policy instruments, infrastructures, transitions) and concrete technologies (e.g. mobility, satellites, robotics, energy, neurotech). We are committed to a strong co-productionist approach that treats technoscientific and societal changes as essentially interrelated and co-evolving. Our interdisciplinary research group brings together perspectives from science and technology studies (STS Department), public policy, management, anthropology, natural science and engineering to study the cultural, political, and economic dynamics that shape, and are being shaped by, innovation in the making.

Among the questions that drive research in our group are:

  • How do the practices of innovation differ across regions, sectors as well as political and organizational cultures?

  • Which new innovation instruments are emerging?

  • What is good innovation? How can we make science and innovation more responsive societal needs and concerns? How to govern science and innovation responsibly, sustainably, and inclusively?

  • How do societies envision their future and express social values through projects of science, technology, and innovation?

  • How do governments and institutions go about building scientific, technological or innovation capacity? How do science, technology, and innovation play out in inter- and transnational settings?

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