The STS Department

Science and technology affect every aspect of society – from personal choices about food and health, to public concerns around privacy, risk or mobility, all the way to questions of global sustainability, development and security. Most controversies and government decisions today involve reconciling expert knowledge and technical designs with questions of politics and justice. At the same time, science and innovation are deeply social processes, shaped by culturally specific norms, values, experiences and practices of legitimation.

The Department of Science, Technology and Society (STS) at the TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology is dedicated to understanding the larger ethical, social, political and legal dimensions of science and technology. Embedded in TUM’s unique innovation ecosystem, we are committed to enabling a more responsible and sustainable engagement with science and innovation through social science research, teaching and public dialogue – often in collaboration with partners from technical fields. The TUM STS community strives to provide new intellectual and practical resources for dealing with the challenges of highly technologized societies, and to train future leaders with a unique sensibility for the critical interface between science, technology and society.

The STS Department was founded in 2021 and expands the institutional groundwork laid by Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) since 2012 to put society at the heart of the TUM mission. As one of Europe’s largest hubs for STS, we are a lively intellectual community of 70+ researchers from numerous disciplines and fields of specialization. As a department, we deliver 2 Master’s programs and design STS content for the School’s PhD program. We offer regular public lectures and symposia, weekly discussion groups, and visiting researcher programs. We maintain close collaborative ties to other parts of TUM as well as to leading STS centers in Germany and around the world

Die Technosoziale Gesellschaft besser verstehen und gestalten

Am STS Department geht es um die Wechselwirkungen von Wissenschaft, Technologie und Gesellschaft. Unsere Gegenstände in Forschung, Lehre, überfachlicher Weiterbildung sowie Dialog und Beratung sind technosozial: Technisches und Soziales sind untrennbar miteinander verbunden. 

Ob soziale Robotik, urbane Mobilität oder Energiewende – wir forschen empirisch und gründen Lehre, Dialog und Beratung auf empirischer Forschung.

Ob Biotechnologie, soziale Medien oder Nanomaterialien – wir arbeiten interdisziplinär, und lehren auf der Basis von empirischer Forschung, was die Chancen und Probleme interdisziplinären Forschens, Publizierens und Miteinander Kommunizierens sind.

Ob Citizen Science, soziale Neurowissenschaft oder Informations­technologien – wir versuchen auf geeignete Weise, mit der Öffentlichkeit, der Politik und mit Unternehmen in den Dialog zu treten und bieten forschungsbasierte Beratung an.

Ob nachhaltige Wasserwirtschaft, automatisiertes Fahren oder die Effekte kontroversen technischen Wissens – jeder Gegenstand interessiert in beide Rich­tungen: Was sind die erwarteten positiven oder negativen Folgen?

Über das STS Department


Arbeitsgruppen und Promotion

Dialog und Beratung

STS Department Forum - Öffentlichkeit, Politik, Wirtschaft

Exemplarische Projekte

Zu unseren exemplarischen Projekten


Department of Science, Technology and Society (STS)
School of Social Sciences and Technology

Technische Universität München
Arcisstr. 21, 80333 München

Department Head:
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Pfotenhauer

Deputy Department Head:
Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller