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

Island Imaginaries. Introduction to a special section

Mascha Gugganig, Nina Klimburg-Witjes

Colonial empires, scientists, philanthropists and Hollywood studios have long sustained an image of islands as remote places with unique ecologies and cultures, experimental labs, or loci of escapism. The climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have contributed to a predominant view of islands as both exceptional spaces and testbeds to be scaled up onto continental or planetary levels. Likewise, the metaphor of the island is foundational to Western thought yet has been less explored in the context of scientific processes and technology development. Bringing together science and technology studies (STS) with critical Island Studies and related fields, this special section expands upon the spatial dimension of sociotechnical imaginaries to consider islands and their imaginations as both preexisting and channeling visions of science and technology. The introduced concept of Island Imaginaries captures the mutual constitution of island visions and their materialization in scientific, technological and technocratic endeavors that are imagined and pursued by scientific communities, policymakers, and other social collectives. Such an approach explores the co-constitutive dynamic of islands as sites for the foundation of technoscientific knowledge regimes, and the concomitant rendering of islands as conducive places for discovery and experimentation. The special section offers empirical case studies with insights into islands as synecdoche for larger wholes (the Earth), as experimental and exceptional sites for trialing business creation and political orders (in Singapore, and for Asia), and as variously interpreted laboratory paradise (of Hawai‘i). Further research themes for STS are suggested in the Conclusion.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
University of Ottawa, Technische Universität München
Science as Culture
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
506017 Wissenschafts- und Technologiepolitik, 504017 Kulturanthropologie, 509025 Technikforschung
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Health(social science), Cultural Studies, Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology and Political Science
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