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Chair in Science and Technology Studies

STS stripe

For the Chair's COVID-19 plans, please click here.

Welcome to the Chair in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College Freiburg

STS is a relatively young field of academic inquiry, one that reflects, follows and comments upon science, technology, and academia, and how they shape (and are shaped by) society. Our vision of STS is broad; it includes sociological, anthropological and historical approaches to studying scientific knowledge and technologies, but also knowledge and techniques more generally. (If it did not sound a bit ridiculous, "Knowledge Studies" would perhaps capture the comprehensive approach we embrace.)

Please note: Despite the fact that much of her teaching, supervising and advising takes place at the UCF, Prof. Dr. Veronika Lipphardt is not the College's Director or authorizing officer. As a professorial member of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof. Lipphardt's teaching and research are placed in various institutions of the University of Freiburg, with an emphasis on the Chair's role in connecting members from various Faculties in interdisciplinary research and teaching endeavors.

Goals for Teaching and Advising During Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Dear Students,

We wish to update you on some of the things that the STS Lehrstuhl is working on to make sure that your studies proceed as “normally” as possible in these far from normal times. 

1) We have heard that some students are searching for ways to ward off cabin fever and to restore interactions once taken for granted. To this end, Nick has started uploading some readings to think with -- starting with readings about the challenges and opportunities of digital life. There is also a discussion board and chatroom for you, as well as a place you can upload readings, which we will integrate into the collection.

2) We plan to ensure that our course offerings, particularly for the modules Knowledge in Context and Science in Context will be offered as planned. While we redesign these courses for the online world, we are also keeping in mind the goal of making these offerings available to our students who may not be able to return for SoSe 2020, and to students across the university and beyond.

3) For graduating 4th year students who still need Science in Context credit, we will offer a way to fulfill it in SoSe 2020. The form this takes depends on how many students need this course to graduate at the end of Summer Semester 2020.  Contact Nick ( directly.

4) For current 1st year students, Veronika plans to offer Knowledge in Context next semester, we assume online. Veronika will soon write you an email. We ask for your patience as we clarify what is possible, practicable, and fair. 

5) We plan to offer Science in Context in WS 2020/21, either online or in person, so current 3rd year students will be able to fulfill the SiC module as planned in their 4th year. This course is traditionally open to students in other years as well, and we recognize that some current 2nd-years, whose study abroad plans for next year may be cancelled, might be eager to take the course.  We hope to accommodate you.

5) For all students, we are preparing a scalable, project-based course that can be taken for 6 or more ECTS, depending on your choice of involvement. It will be open to all students as an elective; we are clarifying whether it can be recognized for RDAD credit.  The project will be conducting an ethnographic and oral history documentation of life during the COVID 19 crisis. Students will get methodological training, experience planning projects, considering research ethics, implementing the projects, analyzing data, and presenting results.  Ultimately, we plan to make the results of the projects broadly available as a website and/or in book form, of course crediting all student contributors. Please note that students will never be placed at risk during this project, and the course will adjust based on the current situation. If you are interested, please contact Franziska Vieg (email available on the Chair's ILIAS site), making sure to indicate your year of study.

6) For students who are our thesis advisees, please rest assured that we are reciprocally informed about your projects and are able to fill in for each other, should one or the other become ill.

For more information, please visit the Chair's ILIAS site and request access: UCF Infoboard members should check there for a direct access link.

Together with colleagues from a range of disciplines, we are pursueing interdisciplinary research on BGA prediction and DNA phenotyping. Some of our results have been published in journals of various disciplines. We have also communicated our findings to the public. For more information, please check the initiative's website:

We founded this initiative after a brutal murder case in October 2016 in Freiburg, when many called for legalizing controversial techniques for analysing DNA. You can download our responses to these calls here:


Our team is multidisciplinary by training, teaching and research.

Prof. Dr. Veronika Lipphardt
Dr. Nicholas Buchanan
Dr. Mihai Surdu
Sarah Fründt, M.A.
Cedric Bradbury (Student Assistant)
Sarah Weitz (Student Assistant)

Room 01031a
Silvia Stösser
Office hours: Mo-Fr, 9-12
Tel. +49 761 203-67628


Our current research projects reflect our interests in population thinking and categorization in the life sciences, both in historical and in contemporary perspective; however, as our team expands, our research agenda will broaden considerably. For research projects, click here.


Our teaching is currently situated in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor Program at University College Freiburg. In the years to come, we will also teach in various other programs at the University, such as Interdisciplinary Anthropology, History, or Anthropology. For current teaching activities, click here.


We have established a Colloquium Series, the Summer 2018 theme of which is Society/Environment/Biology. In addition, the Chair hosts other events, such as film series, lecture series etc. Here you can find an overview of our events in recent semesters. Please also check "News & Blog" for current events.

Cooperations and Links

We sustain cooperations with colleagues from many different disciplinary and national backgrounds that share an interest in similar issues from related perspectives. Furthermore, we are keen to provide some links we consider useful. For more information, please click here.