Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt

Head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies

Member of the research platforms "Governance of Digital Practices" und "PLENTY - Plastics in the Environment and Society"

Member and part of the Management Board of the "Environment and Climate Hub"

Consultation hour: by arrangement via eMail!

T: +43 1 4277 49611    (secr. -49601)

eMail: ulrike.felt@univie.ac.at


Ulrike Felt is Professor of Science and Technology Studies since 1999 and was Head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies  from 2004-2014 and from 2018-2024. From 2014-2018 she was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna. She founded the interfaculty research platform "Responsible Research and Innovation in Academic Practice" in 2015 and was the leader until the end of the platform in 2024. Until 2023 she was deputy head of the Environmental Research Network. She is also a member of the research platform "Plastic in Environment and Society" and "Governing Digital Practices".Furthermore she is member and part of the Management Board of the "Environment and Climate Hub" at the University of Vienna.

After completing her PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Vienna (1983), she worked for five years at the European Nuclear Research Centre CERN in Geneva. There she was a member of an interdisciplinary research team analysing the social, political and scientific aspects of this first major European research infrastructure. During this phase, a scientific reorientation towards science and technology research took place. In 1988, she accepted a position at the newly founded Institute for Philosophy of Science and Science Research, directed by Helga Nowotny. In 1997, she received her habilitation in Science Studies/Sociology of Sciences.

Ulrike Felt has extensive experience in managing national and international research projects, as well as in applying and further developing a wide range of qualitative social science methods (focus groups, map-based discussion methods, interview techniques, etc.). Much of her research is interdisciplinary, with particular emphasis on close cooperation with the natural sciences and medicine. The specific fields she worked on were quite diverse over time, but had a strong focus on biomedicine and life sciences, environment (energy, plastics, environmental data science) and physics (new materials, sensors, nanotechnology, …). Digital transformations have become the focus of her work in recent years. Since 2023 her research is mainly focusing on her  ERC Advanced Grant "Innovation Residues: Modes and Infrastructures of Caring for our Longue-durée Environmental Futures" (https://www.innovation-residues.eu).

She has been visiting professor at a number of international institutions, among them Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg), Université du Québec à Montréal, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris, Collegium Helveticum, ETH Zurich, STS group at Harvard and University of Antwerps.

From 2017-2021, she was President of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), of which she was a board member from 1994 to 1999. She was also on the board of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) from 2002 to 2004. From July 2002 to June 2007 she was editor of the international peer-reviewed Journal Science, Technology, & Human Values (Journal of the Society for Social Studies of Science). She has been a founding president of the Austrian Society for Science and Technology Studies and served as its president until 2017. Finally, she was the managing editor of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (MIT Press), published in 2017 by MIT Press.

With regard to teaching, she led the development and implementation of the new Master's programme "Science-Technology-Society" (start: 2009) at the University of Vienna, which she was the responsible programme director until 2014. In this context, she received the "UNIVIE Teaching Award" together with colleagues in 2014. In 2015, she was awarded the Ars Docendi State Prize for excellent teaching.

Finally, she was and is also active in various functions in the field of national and European policy advice. She was a member of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB), co-chaired the Expert Group on Science and Governance (Report) with Brian Wynne in Brussels, and prepared the Policy Briefing on "The future of science in society" for the European Science Foundation. In 2014, she and her co-authors received the Ziman Award of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology for this Policy Brief. She is currently a member of the Disposal Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, which has the task of developing recommendations for the final disposal of radioactive waste in Austria.

Main research interests

Over the past decades, several interrelated lines of research have developed:

  • Innovations and what they leave behind in our society (nuclear, microplastics, digitalization)
  • Participation and governance of science/technology in democratic societies; science communication;
  • changes in the institutional, social and epistemological regimes of knowledge production (in particular values and evaluation in science; research integrity; ethical issues)
  • the significance of time/time regimes/future in research and for the interface between science/technology and society
  • socio-technical infrastructures and their significance for science and society

The fields I engaged with were rather diverse over time but had a strong focus on biomedicine and the life sciences, environment (energy, plastics, environmental data sciences) and physics (new materials, sensors, nanotechnology, …).

Selection of recent publications

Articles and book chapters (after 2022)

Felt, Ulrike, and Pouya Sepehr. 2024. "Infrastructuring citizenry in Smart City Vienna: investigating participatory smartification between policy and practice." Journal of Responsible Innovation 11 (1). doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2024.2313303.

Trauttmansdorff, Paul, and Ulrike Felt. 2023. "Between Infrastructural Experimentation and Collective Imagination: The Digital Transformation of the EU Border Regime." Science, Technology, & Human Values 48 (3): 635-662. doi.org/10.1177/01622439211057523.

Felt, Ulrike, Susanne Öchsner, Robin Rae, and Ekaterina Osipova. 2023. "Doing co-creation: power and critique in the development of a European health data infrastructure." Journal of Responsible Innovation 10 (1). doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2023.2235931.

Sepehr, Pouya, and Ulrike Felt. 2023. "Urban Imaginaries as Tacit Governing Devices: The Case of Smart City Vienna." Science, Technology, & Human Values. doi.org/10.1177/01622439231178597.

Metzler, Ingrid, Lisa-Maria Ferent, and Ulrike Felt. 2023. "On samples, data, and their mobility in biobanking: How imagined travels help to relate samples and data." Big Data & Society: 1-13. doi.org/10.1177/20539517231158635.

Mobach, Kamiel, and Ulrike Felt. 2022. "On the Entanglement of Science and Europe at CERN: The Temporal Dynamics of a Coproductive Relationship." Science as Culture 31 (3): 382-407. doi.org/10.1080/09505431.2022.2076586.

Felt, Ulrike, Susanne Ochsner, and Robin Rae. 2022. "Citizens in Search for a Place in the Digital Health Data Space: A Case Study." Stud Health Technol Inform 293: 127-136. doi.org/10.3233/SHTI220359.

Felt, Ulrike 2022. "Making and taking time: Work, funding and assessment infrastructures in inter- and trans-disciplinary research". In Bianca Vienni Baptista and Julie Thompson Klein (eds.) Dynamics of inter- and trans-disciplinarity within institutions: Cultures and communities, spaces, and timeframes. Chapter 14. New York: Routlege

Felt, Ulrike, and Florentine Frantz. 2022. "RESPONSE_ABILITY. A Card-Based Engagement Method to Support Researchers' Ability to Respond to Integrity Issues." Science and Engineering Ethics 28 (2): 14. doi.org/10.1007/s11948-022-00365-6.

Trauttmansdorff, Paul, and Ulrike Felt. 2021. "Between Infrastructural Experimentation and Collective Imagination: The Digital Transformation of the EU Border Regime."  Science, Technology, & Human Values. doi: 10.1177/01622439211057523.


Felt. Ulrike. 2022. Welche Wissenschaft für welche Gesellschaft? Gedanken zur Zukunft der Wissenschaft. Wien: Picus verlag.

Felt, Ulrike, and Sarah R. Davies, eds. 2020. Exploring Science Communication. A Science and Technology Studies Approach. London: SAGE.

Felt, Ulrike, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, eds. 2017. Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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