Michaela Scheriau, BA MA


Michaela Scheriau is a sociologist and PhD candidate at the Department of Science and Technology Studies. She has a master degree in sociology from the University of Vienna (2014). Since April 2019 she is researcher at the Research Platform “Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Academic Practice”. 

Her PhD project investigates the meanings and roles of (bio)ethics in assisted reproductive medicine and it is conducted as a qualitative comparative case study, in which she examines two international expert associations and their respective internal ethics committees. In this regard, she asks how bioethical aspects become negotiated and discussed in the field of assisted reproductive medicine by scientists and other related experts.

Hence, she focuses on the aspects of external governance and self-regulation in case of such a medico-technical field. The project addresses the question of how does scientific knowledge and its cultural conditions, in which its production is embedded, are coproduced. This question is particularly relevant, as it deals with the production of techno-scientific knowledge that is increasingly taking place under the auspices of an imperative of societal responsibility. Furthermore, the question arises how societies in general are dealing and regulating new biomedical technologies and which role expert organizations and scientific actors themselves are playing in this constitutive environment. 

Under conditions of an increasing ethical demand within the science community, she is basically interested in the meaning and role of ethics in science and academia in general and its accompanying epistemic transformations. How does ethical reflection is taking place in science, does ethics potentially jeopardize it, for instance, by delimiting the standards of scientific reflection, and what "new" forms of social responsibility are imaginable and emerging in various scientific arenas?