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8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43/316/813909-0
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19/5/2017

Jennifer Dahmen and Anita Thaler kicked the second STS conference day off with a keynote on ‘Social Gender Justice in Science and Research’. Designed as discussion between both of the speakers, they claimed that an intersectional approach is necessary for understanding all aspects of social gender (in)justice in science and research, which implies that even with achieved gender equality academia would remain unjust. A constant exchange of research staff is for instance in Germany even supported and wanted by University law, thus it builds a base for legitimate political but not social behaviour.

New paradigms like RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) offer chances for a structural change in academic institutions but cannot simply be implemented without considering and reflecting the consequences of the individuals in the system. Dahmen and Thaler referred to their new published book , which is available open access in an online version.

In the afternoon, in addition to the keynote speech, a double session with six papers was devoted to different aspects of social gender justice in academia. Inka Greusing (Technical University of Berlin/Germany) was first to present results from her PhD thesis, which showed how hetero-normativity is still (re)produced in the discourse of gender equality and justice in the engineering field. Based on the interview results with 25 female PhD students in engineering Veronika Paksi (Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest/Hungary) showed that the uncertain labour market opportunities and the male-dominated organisational culture heavily affect their childbearing-related decisions especially in the private sector. Andrea Wolffram (RWTH Aachen/Germany) explained how the subjectivity of committee members influences “excellence evaluations” in appointment procedures for professors. Marita Haas (Vienna Technical University/Austria) and Helene Schiffbänker (Joanneum Research/Austria) investigated in their research, how independence is constructed in specific promotion and grant selection process for young researchers and whether this is done differently for female and male scientists. By means of an interview study in the natural sciences (chemistry and geology), Susanne Kink ’s (AG Queer STS, IFZ Graz/Austria) paper contributed to uncovering the implicit mechanisms of masculinity and privilege and highlighted possible obstacles on the way to the top of academia, especially in natural sciences. The last paper was given by  Angela Wroblewski (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna/Austria), who claimed in her presentation that a reflexive approach is necessary for overcoming the still persisting gender segregation in some fields of science and academic leadership.

The session was concluded by a panel discussion with four experts on gender (in-) equalities in science and research from the U.S., Portugal and Austria. Based on the main question "How to overcome social gender injustice in academia and research?", possible strategies for changing academia into a work place with an inclusive and creative environment for diverse employees 

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10/5/2017

The 16 th STS Conference Graz - "Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies" took place in Graz from 8 to 9 May 2017. This year's focus on "Social Justice in Science, Technology and Environ- mental Issues" was presented by 120 participating scientists from over 20 nations in lectures as well as in workshops.

We would like to thank all the participants who contributed to the success of this conference!

Impressions (Fotocredits:stsconfgraz) of this year´s conference.

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19/4/2017

How can research be thought differently? How can societal problems be solved with social innovations? Questions like these are analysed in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus.

Since March, IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) organises a workshop series, where stakeholders work with researchers on relevant research questions, with the aim to produce socially relevant knowledge and responsible innovations. Therefore on April 7th local farmers, entrepreneurs, research and policy experts, as well as actors from the alternative food scene met met again to work on innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .

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4/4/2017

After twenty years of research on the subject of food, the IFZ has set up a new research area for sustainable food supply systems - Food Systems for short. Sandra Karner, long-time research associate and ombudswoman of the IFZ, will take over as head of this department. In an interview , Sandra Karner explains the emergence of the research area as to why transdisciplinarity is so important and how, through policy and practice in an RRI project (Responsible Research and Innovation), the aim is to make food supply more sustainable in Graz.

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27/3/2017

Local farmers, entrepreneurs, policy experts and actors from the alternative food scene met on March 16 th and worked together with an IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) on a vision for 2022 towards a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

This was the second Austrian workshop in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus. While the first workshop broached the issues of by which measures the food system in Graz could be optimised and their feasibility, the participants decided now upon four most important topics, which will be discussed further with more stakeholders from April on.
If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .

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15/3/2017

Magdalena Wicher represented the IFZ on the 4th of March at the Art & Feminism Edit-a-thon which was part of the programme of the Elevate Festivals , where she gave an input on Gender & Queer Theory in Science and Technology Studies. As part of the Open Data Day, explicitly feminists and people with all gender identities were invited to this editing marathon to contribute to a better visibility of women and LGBTTIQ-people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual and queer) in Wikipedia and Wikidata. Through the depiction of feminist, queer and gender topics, which are researched at the IFZ and within the working group QueerSTS , the commonalities of the research activities and the work of the participants of the edit-a-thon could be displayed, e.g. regarding the democratization of education, access to online resources and equality and social participation and inclusion of all people .

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13/3/2017

We welcome Martina Lang to the IFZ Team. Martina Lang will be working in the research unit "Modern Biotechnology". She will be primarly concerned with the theme „Healthy Aging_Assisted Living“. In this computer-based health technologies of the future are analyzed for their social acceptance towards.

© Fotostudio Seifert

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17/2/2017

On February 15 the first of a series of workshops took place at IFZ, where committed stakeholders from policy, farms, research, and alternative food scene work together to create a more sustainable and social just food system in the area of Graz.

Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler and Magdalena Wicher organise and moderate this workshops in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where the cooperative and responsible research (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) about the “grand challenges” (like climate change) is in the focus.

The first workshop broached the issues of the current system (David Steinwender presented a study “Graz feeds itself”) and by which measures and ideas the food system in Graz could be optimised. Finally the ideas where mapped according to their feasibility. If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .

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21/10/ 2016

Fellowship Programme 2017/2018: Applications to the Fellowship Programme 2017/2018 can be submitted by December 31, 2016, via email or postal mail.

Read more >>>

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9/6/2016

On 22 of August 2016 Dr. Anita Thaler (head of research unit „women – technology – environment“) gave a key note speech at this year’s ditact_women‘s IT summer university ( http://ditact.ac.at/ ) in Salzburg. her talk was titled „Das Paradoxon der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien: Von allen genutzt, von zu wenigen studiert?“  (The Paradoxon of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Used by everybody, but studied by too few?). Thaler discussed the facts that only 13% of ICT university degrees are hold by women, but only 2.6% of all university degrees are ICT degrees. So the main question of the talk was: Why do young people consider ICT not attractive as a study major?

Presentation slides

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8/11/2016

EU-Project GPP2020: 113 public tenders led to savings of 900.000 t CO 2

GPP 2020 aimed to mainstream low-carbon procurement across Europe in support of the EU’s goals to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020. To this end, GPP 2020 implemented 113 low-carbon tenders, which resulted in substantial CO₂ savings.

The Austrian project partners were the Federal Procurement Agency and the IFZ. Tender Models were developed for 11 low carbon tenders of the Federal Procurement Agency. The Tender Models offer information about savings of GHG and energy that due to the environmental criteria of the tenders. For more information, please see the projects website .

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7/6/2016

Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths

Anita Thaler was invited by the Austrian Ministry for Families and Youth to give a presentation and hold a workshop about „Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths“. Main topics were gender identity, gender roles, educational paths of young people, the influence factor gender, and the question how children and teenagers can find their vocation beyond gender roles and expectations.

In her presentation Anita Thaler explained psychological, sociological and media-pedagogical theories and gave practical examples.

In the workshop participants could reflect their own biographies and learn more about the topic and didactical methods how to present the topic in their own adult education practice as parent educators.

The content of the presentation has been published by Anita Thaler for parents‘ educators (German) here.

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5/31/2016

15th Annual STS Conference „Critical Issues in Science, Technology“

Keynote: Heather Laube (USA)

190 participants from 25 nations - that is the résumé of the STS Conference which took place in Graz from May 9 to 10, 2016. It was organized by the Institute of Science, Technology and Society Studies in cooperation with the IFZ, the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS). 30 sessions were held in which the participants discussed topics such as „Policy and Technology“, „Gender and Queer STS“,  „Responsible Research and Innovation“, „Energy, Mobility and Sustainability“, „Nutrition, Health and Biomedicine“, and „Information and Communication Technologies, Surveillance and Society“.

More information on the conference can be found here: www.sts-conference-graz.aau.at

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5/16/2016

First volume of the „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“

The working group Queer STS – comprising of current and former colleagues of IFZ (Anita Thaler, Birgit Hofstätter, Daniela Zanini-Freitag, Jenny Schlager, Julian Anslinger, Lisa Scheer, Magdalena Wicher, Susanne Kink, Thomas Berger) has published the first volume of their online-journal „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“, sharing current queer-feminist approaches to science, technology and society studies.

Volume 1 ...

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Older news can be found in the News archive.

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