Dr.in Nina Klimburg-Witjes

University Assistant
(post doc)
Making Europe through and for its research infrastructures

Tel: +43-1-4277-49625
eMail: nina.witjes@univie.ac.at
Website: klimburg-witjes.com


Nina Klimburg-Witjes is a university assistant (post-doc) 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 



Selected Publications

Troubled Orbits and Earthly Concerns: Space Debris as a Boundary Infrastructure

Chlormann Michael, Nina Klimburg-Witjes

Like other forms of debris in terrestrial and marine environments, space debris prompts questions about how we can live with the material remains of technological endeavors past and yet to come. Although techno-societies fundamentally rely on space infrastructures, they so far have failed to address the infrastructural challenge of debris. Only very recently has the awareness of space debris as a severe risk to both space and Earth infrastructures increased within the space community. One reason for this is the renewed momentum of interplanetary space exploration, including the colonization of the Moon and Mars, which is part of transhumanist and commercially driven dreams of the so-called New Space age. Understanding space infrastructures as inherently linked to earthly infrastructure, we attend to the ways in which space debris, a once accepted by-product of scientific-technological progress, economic interests, and geopolitics, increasingly becomes a matter of concern. Drawing on qualitative interviews with European space sector representatives and work in Science and Technology Studies on infrastructures, we argue that their discursive efforts and visual representation strategies coproduce space debris as a boundary infrastructure. We suggest considering this boundary infrastructure as relating orbital environments and the planet through enacting sustainability and responsibility for beyond-planetary environments.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
Munich Center for Technology in Society
Science, Technology & Human Values
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
103038 Weltraumforschung, 509017 Wissenschaftsforschung, 509025 Technikforschung
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Anthropology, Economics and Econometrics, Philosophy, Human-computer interaction, Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Sociology and Political Science
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