Vienna STS Talk

12.12.2018 17:00

Space Technologies, Secrecy, and Stupid Users: Where STS and Security (Studies) Meet

Nina WITJES (Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna)

It is a common precept of STS that science and technology both address existing risks and insecurities as well as possibly create new global social, political and ecological risks as well. At the same time, the term “security” has become so all-encompassing that it is difficult to separate its various analytical frames. In this talk, I will explore the role of technological innovation and knowledge practices in securitization processes through three different research vignettes. By tracing the entanglements between industries, political institutions, and users, I will map the spaces for an integrative research agenda at the intersection of STS and critical security studies (CSS). I will adress (1) the current securitization of space debris in European space policy discourses; (2) social engineering in cyber security, a strategy used by hackers targeting human instead of technical vulnerabilities; and (3) the challenges how we can (still) ‘follow the actors’ when they operate under cover of national security and how to study the various performances and enactments of secrecy in techno-societies.


Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung


Seminarraum STS, NIG, 1010 Wien, Universitätsstraße 7/II/6. Stock