Ass.-Prof. Dr. Nina Klimburg-Witjes, MA


Nina Klimburg-Witjes is a researcher (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Vienna University. She has studied Development Studies, Literature, History and Euroculture at the Universities of Vienna, Erfurt and Göttingen (2005-2011) with a specialization on knowledge and global politics. In 2017, she defended her doctoral dissertation on the “Co-production of Science, Technology and Global Politics” at the Munich Center for Technology (MCTS) at Technical University Munich in 2017.

From 2016-2018, Nina has been a post-doc researcher at the Munich Center for Technology (MCTS), research group “Innovation, Society and Public Policy” and a co-leader of the “Engineering Responsibility” Lab's research group “Science, Technology and Security”. In her work at the intersection of STS and Critical Security Studies, she explores the role of technological innovation and knowledge practices in securitization processes. Tracing the entanglements between industries, political institutions, and users, Nina is interested in how visions about sociotechnical vulnerabilities are co-produced with security devices and policy, and how novel security technologies interact with issues of privacy and democracy.

During her time as researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (oiip) Nina worked together with stakeholders from ministries and funding agencies on internationalization strategies for science, technology and innovation. As head of the research unit “Science, Technology and Foreign Policy”, Nina conducted several research projects on science diplomacy, international collaboration and the role of satellite technologies in international security politics from a combined perspective of STS and International Relations.

Nina has also been a researcher with the Austrian Foundation for International Development (2010-2012), and a research fellow (2012) in the research project "Universality and Potential of Acceptance of Social Science Knowledge: On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South”, at the Department of Sociology, Albert-Ludwig University Freiburg, (funded by the BMBF). She has also been a visiting fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in 2018 and with the Research Policy Group at Lund University, Sweden in 2014.

Current Research Interests

  • The global politics of science and technology
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries of space programs and regional security in Asia
  • Satellite technologies and visual politics
  • The co-production of European research infrastructures and European integration processes
  • Sensors, sensing and security infrastructures 
  • STS and critical security studies 




Space Debris Sustainability: Understanding and Engaging Outer Space Environments

Michael Chlormann, Nina Klimburg-Witjes

This chapter outlines the implications of the risk configurations when it comes to public participation as well as possible ways of shaping a societally inclusive way to address the challenge of space debris. It argues that space debris is increasingly understood as a sustainability challenge with orbital environments needing to be sustained and protected from further congestion. Space has become a place where sustainability is increasingly negotiated as an issue of security, as billions of people around the world rely on space systems to facilitate their daily life, from navigation to environmental services, from science to communication, crisis response, banking, and transport. Paying attention to security concerns as well as specific ecological status of outer space environments, the chapter outlines possible avenues to painting a better picture of space debris’ role in contemporary public and policy debates. Bringing to the table a perspective influenced by Science and Technology Studies, it highlights space debris to be bidirectional risk phenomenon.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
509017 Wissenschaftsforschung
Link zum Portal