Laura Kocksch


We are very proud to announce that Laura Kocksch has been awarded a CAIS fellowship to join an excellent group of internet researchers at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies. Our interest in experimental data formats will be combined with CAIS commitment to community involvement and public communication. Beginning February 2021, she will plan and organize three "data sprints". The data sprints invite different affected stakeholders to participate in current research data management initiatives and the building of a new eco-friendly data centre at the university.

Please contact Laura for any questions or if you wish to participate:

Stefan Laser


Stefan Laser published a new book on the recycling of electronic waste. This is a revised version of his dissertation, which is published in German in the peer-reviewed series “Sociology of Valuation and Evaluation”, with Springer VS. See SpringerLink for the access to the book (free PDF access via most of the university libraries). The printed book will be available in mid-June.

Laser, Stefan. 2020. Hightech am Ende: Über das globale Recycling von Elektroschrott und die Entstehung neuer Werte. Soziologie des Wertens und Bewertens. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

In ‘Hightech am Ende’ [High-tech at the end], Stefan Laser follows the value of electronic waste. With the help of ethnographic studies, he discusses a contested law in India, follows the shredding and smelting of discarded electronic gadgets as an employee of a German recycling company, and examines a Google innovation for redesigning smartphones. At the heart of the book is a discussion of the controversial creation of new values. The author identifies high-tech recycling as the dominant political and economic force in dealing with electronic waste – a one-sided strategy that displaces alternatives and does not contribute to the sustainable avoidance of waste. This book draws on methodologies from the field of Science and Technology Studies, and it wants to discuss valuation practices by thinking through waste.

There is also a public website that aims to make this publication more accessible for a wider public:

Aktuell zum Semesteranfang 2020:

9. April 2020

Liebe Studierende,

alle Veranstaltungen des Lehrstuhls finden dieses Semester (virtuell) statt.

Die Studierenden, welche sich über eCampus für eine Veranstaltung angemeldet haben, werden vor dem 20. April eine E-Mail von der*m Dozent*in erhalten. Darin wird nachvollziehbar sein, wann und wie die jeweilige Veranstaltung beginnen wird. Sie können davon ausgehen, dass die Veranstaltungen zu den geplanten Uhrzeiten virtuell stattfinden werden.

Bitte haben Sie Verständnis dafür, dass wir keine individuellen E-Mails beantworten können.

Bis bald und passen Sie gut auf sich auf

Estrid Sørensen

Many of our activities take place in the RUSTlab. For information please see:


Welcome to Kevin Schmidt and Fenja Meiß

1. February 2020
Kevin Schmidt and Fenja Meiss study social science at Ruhr-University Bochum and join the CUPAK team as assistants. We warmly welcome them and look very much forward to collaborate.

Standards and Everyday Work Practice: The Afterlife of Standards

28. January 2020
At the TMF (Technologie- und Methodenplattform für die vernetzte medizinische Forschung e.V. [Technology, Methods, and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research]) Laura Kocksch and Estrid Sørensen will give a talk at the work group "Data Protection". While the focus of TMF is to develop guidelines for data protection in medical research, Laura and Estrid discuss how standards are dealt with as challenges of everyday work practices; and how such practical knowledge can be integrated into the standard development process.

Studentische Hilfskraft gesucht (WHK/SHK)

5. December 2019
Am Lehrstuhl von Estrid Sørensen (Sozialwissenschaft, Kulturpsychologie und Wissensanthropologie) sind ab Februar 2020 zwei Hilfskraftstellen mit jeweils sechs Wochenstunden zu vergeben. Zu den Aufgaben zählen vor allem textredaktionelle Arbeiten (z. B. Korrektur von Literaturverweisen), Unterstützung bei der Durchführung von der Lehre (z. B. Moodle) und Literaturrecherche und -beschaffung. Bewerben kann sich jeder sozialwissenschaftlich Studierende ab dem 4. Semester. Weitere Informationen auch zu dem Bewerbungsverfahren finden Sie hier.

Welcome to Julie Mewes

1. December 2019
We warmly welcome Julie Sascia Mewes to join our team. Julie received her PhD in European Ethnology in 2018 at the Humboldt University Berlin based on a fascinating thesis on socio-material practices of psychiatric occupational therapy. Since then she has been working in a citizen science project at the Technische Universität Berlin, researching the practices and aesthetics of tasting food. A successful funding application to the DAAD P.R.I.M.E. program allowed her to move to the Ruhr University, where she will be studying "Matters of Sleep: Sleep devices in the everyday life of Norwegian hospital staff". The first twelve months Julie will physically be at the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at Oslo University. But she will be with us in spirit. We look very much forward to collaborating.

Care for Objects: Staying Grounded in an Age of Big Data

21-22. November 2019, Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland
At the XI Learning Adventures Conference with the title "Power(lessness) of Objects in STEM Discoverty" Estrid Sørensen will give a keynote lecture on data and the question of data's relation to that which it is about, and about the consequences of knowing through data. For more information visit the event website here.

Mapping and Coordinating Cultural- and Social Studies of Science and Technology in Germany

8. November 2019, Technische Universität Berlin
Together with colleagues from Aachen, Berlin and Munich Estrid Sørensen is co-organising a meeting that for the first time brings together the diverse scholarly networks and associations in Germany that engage with social and cultural studies of science and technology. The aim of the meeting is to clarify the specific aims of each of the networks in order to better collaborate and coordinate our efforts. For more information see here.

Politicizing data: Data visualisation and participatory data practices

8. November 2019, Sociology, Technische Universität zu Berlin
At the 2019 Meeting of the Gesellschaft für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung (GWTF) Estrid Sørensen will give a talk on the current trend to apply data in democratizing and participatory ways. This is a move from Critical Data Studies. This is a move from Critical Data Studies to what Estrid - paraphrasing Lucy Suchman - calls Artful Data Integration. For this events schedule and more information see here.

Technologies of Autonomy: A dance of indulgence and care

26.-25. October 2019, Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität zu Köln.
At the meeting "Posthumanistische Medienbildung" [Posthuman Media Education] Estrid Sørensen was invited to talk about how we can think about autonomy in a posthumanist logic. Drawing on the notion of "care" and on Antoine Hennion's work Estrid suggests a relational way of thinking about autonomy that does not exclude the presence of dependence. For more information see here.

RUBlab Lectures Winter Term 2019/2020

Universitätstr. 104, Room 201, Thursdays 16-18 hrs
The RUSTlab is happy to announce an exciting programme for the winter term combining topics on data, algorithms and digitalisation with issues concerning sustainablity, ecology and life 'at the end of the world'. More information and the full schedule can be found on the RUSTlab-Website here.

Conference proceeding „Methoden umweltsoziologischer Forschung“ published

October 2019
The 15th annual meeting of the young researcher’s network of environmental sociology in 2018 was organised by Markus Rudolfi, Lukas Sattlegger and Larissa Deppisch. The theme was “Methoden umweltsoziologischer Forschung” (Engl.: methods of environmental sociological research) with the aim to start a discussion of the methodical particularities that emerge in current research projects in the field of environmental sociology. There is now a conference proceeding available with most of the contributions from the meeting. Download the whole volume here:

Laura Kocksch @GI Jahrestagung in Kassel

23.-26. September 2019, Kassel
Along with her colleague Andreas Poller (Fraunhofer SIT), Laura Kocksch presents her work at the annual conference of the society for informatics (Gesellschaft für Informatik) in Kassel. From their 2017 and 2018 papers on IT security and its organizational, material and social dimensions, they follow a "caring" approach that informatics demonstrates towards society. How can technology development be developed in a participatory wax? And, how can the values that in technologies (i.e., what needs protection) be turned into a matter of public concern? They argue that it needs "hybrid forums" as well as new interdisciplinary teaching courses that can foster accountability for technologies in society. The slides can be found at Laura's page under

Conference „Great Transformation: The Future of Modern Society”

23.-27. September 2019, Jena
The University of Jena hosts the final conference by the DFG research group “De-Growth Societies” and simultaneously the 2. Regional conference of the German Sociological Association. Stefan Laser and Markus Rudolfi will present at this event their projects on “Thinking through waste. A Critical Extension of the Post-Growth Debate“ (Panel by Stefan Laser) and on “Verstetigtes Provisorium: Experimentalisierte Nachhaltigkeit im Baurecht” (Presentation by Markus Rudolfi). More information on the conference under:

Welcome to Stefan Laser

Mittwoch, 5. September 2019
We warmly welcome Stefan Laser to join the CUPAK team. Stefan holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Kassel. His thesis was an ethnography of IT-waste practices in Germany and India, so his competencies nicely fits to our interests in both digitalisation and human-environment dynamics. Stefan´s furthermore proficient in Science and Technology Studies and was a leading force in organising the 2019 STS organisation conference at the University of Kassel. At the RUB he will be teaching courses on Science & Technology Studies, on human-environment dynamics and on digitalisation, just as he will be a core figure in the RUSTlab. We look very much forward to the collaboration.

Mapping and Labbing with Helen Verran (Darwin)

Mittwoch, 4. September 2019, 14-18 Uhr
RUSTlab, Universitätstr. 104, Raum 234

We are happy to announce our upcoming workshop with Helen Verran about "Mapping and Labbing". We'll discuss carteography and datavisualisation as story-telling methods in the social sciences: What stories do they tell? In what ways are these relevant? And for what? What is the difference between maps and datavisualisations? What are the similarities? And what kind of space is a lab for spatial visualisation? Everyone is welcome to join, but please let us know in advance:

Measured Lives: Theoretical Psychology in an Era of Acceleration

19-23 August, Copenhagen
The theme of this year's conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology is "Measured Lives: Theoretical Psychology in an Era of Acceleration". Raphael Hemme will report on the findings from his ongoing PhD rersearch in a talk on the "Translations of Emotion: An Analysis of Emotion Markup Language 1.0". Together with Lotte Huniche Estrid Sørensen will present their paper on "Phenomenon-driven research and systematic research assembling – a methodological approach to reflexive engagement with psychology´s epistemic project". For more information about the conference, see the official conference website.

Gute Gründe für Schlechte Dokumentationspraktiken

August 2019
Together with Josefine Raasch - a former member of the Chair - Estrid Sørensen had edited the book on good reasons for bad documentation practices with the subtitle "Wie Kinder beschrieben werden". It is a result of an InStudies study project and reports from students' research and practitioners' experience with documentation of children. The book contains original research from kindergartens and children's homes, midwifery, legal credibility tests of children and courts' documentation of children. The book can be found here.

Psychology's Epistemic Project

August 2019
Lotte Huniche (Southern Danish University) and Estrid Sørensen has finally completed their ambitious project on psychology's epistemic projects and published a special issue of the journal Theory & Psychology on this topic. Based on original empirical research the special issue contains discussions of how psychology deals with concepts, with Popper's critical realism, with violence, with the colonialism, and with students of very different backgrounds compared to the authors of psychological theory, just as a paper by the editors suggests a method that combines psychological epistemologies with empirical observations in their paper on "Penomenon-driven Research and Systematic Research Assembling: Methodological conceptualisations for psychology’s epistemic projects". The issue is accessible under

Standardizing the Context and Contextualizing the Standard

August 2019
In M. J. Prutsch's edited volume on "Science, Numbers and Politics" Estrid Sørensen has together with Radhika Gorur (Deakin) and Bryan Maddox contributed an article on how the international large scale assessment programme PISA has been translated into PISA for development, which is an educational assessment scheme for low and middle income countries. The chapter examines how PISA has to be adapted to local contexts, while these contexts also need to be adapted to the PISA scheme. The book can be found here.

TransParkNet Meeting

11-14 June, Kuusamo (Finland)
The Transboundary Park programme of the EUROPARC Federation annually organises the TransParcNet meeting, where members of so-called Transboundary Protected Areas gather and exchange thoughts and ideas about the management of national parks that cross international borders. Together with Maria Hußlein from the Bavarian Forest National Park, Markus Rudolfi will give a talk at this year’s TransParcNet meeting which takes place in Ounlanka National Park in Kuusamo, Finland.

Workshop on Interdisciplinarity and Keynote by Prof. Andrew Barry (UCL)

8 Mai 2019, Bochum
RUSTlab organizes a one-day event on interdisciplinarity in cybersecurity research accompanied by a keynote by Prof. Andrew Barry (UCL) on „What is an interdisciplinary problem?“. The workshop explores further directions in the SecHuman PhD program. For more information see:

A tribute to Stefan Beck

Mai 2019
Our dear friend and the inspiring anthropologist of science and technology, Stefan Beck, died suddently and far too young in 2012. As a tribute to his work, a collection of scholars present their reading of different parts of his ouvre. Together with Tanja Bogusz Estrid Sørensen have contributed to the double volume of Berliner Blätter with a chapter titled "Mit Stefan Becks "Sachen, Tat-sachen und Tatsachen" und "The Problem of Expertise" denken". The book can be aquired here.

Start of the RUSTlab Machine Room sessions

Summer term, Bochum
The RUSTlab Machine Room workshops work to shape experimental spaces and tools for resetting methods for social studies of science and technology. Guests are welcome, please forward a small note in advance to: The meetings take place in Universitätsstraße 104, Room 234. More information, including the workshop plan, are available under:

Start of the RUSTlab lectures

Summer term, Bochum
The RUSTLab´s first lecture series starts on the 10th of May and continues throughout the summer. Everyone is warmly welcomed to join. The lectures take place in Universitätsstraße 104, Room 201. For more information, including the lecture plan, please visit:

Ethnography Workshop @ RUB

Img Laura CAIS 11-13 March 2019, Bochum
Together with Clément Dréano (University of Amsterdam), Markus Rudolfi co-organises the 11th PhD-workshop on ethnographic research. The workshop takes place from 11th-13th of March at the Ruhr-University, there are over 40 registrations and many interesting projects which will be discussed in four self-organised groups. The four groups are divided into (1) planning, (2) in the field, (3) back from the field/at the desk, and (4) writing up/presenting. The workshop is a student-led and self-organised event that takes place every year at varying places with the aim to talk about the struggles of ethnographic research and exchange experiences.
For more information see:

Let's talk about wild boars

boar_meeting_stehendboar_meeting_sitzend 04-08 March 2019, Prague
From 4th to 8th of March, Markus Rudolfi was invited to visit the “Bewildering Boar” project team in Prague. The TANDEM project between the Centre français de recherche en sciences social (CEFRES) and The Czech Academy of Science (CAS) deals with “The changing cosmopolitics of the hunt in Europe and beyond”. We’re going to talk about the different roles the wild boar plays in our research, discuss possible similarities and connections between the projects and think about plans for future exchanges in Prague and Bochum. We are looking forward to extending our themes at the CUPAK chair with an anthropology that engages with more than humans in ethnographic research.
For more information about the project see:

Welcome to Jannik Broer

  01 March 2019
Jannik Broer studies social science at the Ruhr-University Bochum and joins the CUPAK team as an assistant. We warmly welcome him amongst the team and look very much forward to collaborating.

CUPAK @ STS in Germany meeting in Kassel

Img Laura CAIS 20 February 2019, Kassel
On 20th and 21st of February, the CUPAK team comes together with 70 other researchers in Science and Technology Studies to ask "how to organize STS in Germany?". We get inspiration from activist and interdisciplinary movements in other countries and discuss intensely about what innovative ways we want to come together as a researcher community. While Estrid was part of the organization team, Raphael, Markus and Laura participated in smaller working groups on questions like: how to teach STS and how to make STS in Germany visible to different publics. Please check out twitter #stsing.

Lighting talk about previous CUPAK events @CAISnrw

Img Laura CAIS 12 February 2019, Bochum
On February 12th, Laura presents her experiences on "how to apply for research grands and organize events at CAISnrw" at the kick off event for the CAISnrw phdnet. CAIS provides funding for small-scale events, working groups and fellowships that engage in innovative research on the intersection of computer science, social science and economics.

CuPAK Team in Copenhagen to discuss new Science and Technology Studies lab @RUB

Img ethnosLabImg brainstorm_rustlab 17-21 January 2019, Copenhagen
Between January 17th and 21st, Estrid Sørensen, Markus Rudolfi and Laura Kocksch will visit Science & Technology Studies labs in Copenhagen. At TANTlab (University of Aalborg) they will learn about "re-tooling ethnography" with digital methods and discuss how these new tools can be used for research in a responsible way. They will also meet with the co-head and the two current lab managers of the ETHOSlab (IT University Copenhagen) who fill their lab with innovative ideas for STS research.

In a one-day workshop, Sørensen, Rudolfi and Kocksch will meet with international researchers who are in the process of starting their own labs at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, and at the Royal Danish Military Academy in Frederiksberg, Denmark. Among strategical topics such as financing and equipment, the following questions will be discussed: For what kinds of data do we need more experimental approaches? What is the role of digital data and how do we use digital methods to improve ethnographic storytelling (and not replace it)? How can we equip our ethnographic fields with what kind of tools in order to make emergent concerns more visible? And how do we use these new tools in a careful manner?

Re-worlding land, epistemology and community in the Anthropocene

  14 Januar 2019, Laboratory: Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations, Humboldt-Universität Berlin
Estrid Sørensen and Susana Carmona present their work in progress studying the mundane, situated practices in three field-sites across the world through which communities reinvent the configurations of land, community and knowledge. It is through such practices that the Anthropocene is experienced, imagined, enacted and reinvented. What can we learn from their practices and imaginaries, about how re-worlding comes about?

Laboratory: Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations

Welcome to Susanna Carmona Castillo

Img 0072 01 December 2018
Susana Carmona holds a MA degree in Anthropology from the University of Bogotá, Columbia and is just about to finish her PhD at the same university on open-pit mining. She has now joined our team as a Post Doc scholar and will be working on a project about the co-constitution of knowledge, land and community. We warmly welcome Susana in our team and look very much forward to collaborating. Please find more on Susana's web page.

PhD Workshop with Helen Verran

  05 December 2018, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Being one of the most profound international epistemologists, Helen Verran from Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia, is coming to Bochum again. The CUPAK-Chair has organised a PhD workshop with Helen Verran on Wednesday, 5 December, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m., FNO 02/11.   The workshop is themed as ‘Practicalities of Doing Qualitative Research’ and will discuss the following topics:  - narrating the story of research projects when starting to work with the field - writing field notes - conceptualising  - writing and teaching ethnographies, structuring texts.   Helen Verran is known for being generously supportive of students’ work and for providing practical and conceptual help in a variety of research areas. PhD students who are interested in joining this workshop are cordially welcomed. Please register for the workshop with

Quantum cryptography and care practices

Img 0072 23 November 2018, Horst-Görst Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
On the annual meeting of SecHuman Laura Kocksch presented a paper together with Alexander Helms titled "Quantenkryptographie und Praktiken des Kümmerns in einer unsicheren Zukunft. Über Aushandlungen von Sicherheit" [Quantum cryptography and care practices in an unsure Future. About the negotiations of security".

Welcome to Markus Rudolfi

Img 0072 15 November 2018
Markus Rudolfi holds a MA in sociology from the University of Frankfurt and has done several ethnographies on sustainable practices. He has now joined our team as a PhD student and as co-ordinator for building an STS Lab. We warmly welcome him to our team and look forward to profitable collaborations. Please find more about him on his website.

Equivocal (anthropo)cenes

Img 0072 7-8 November 2018, Universidad Católica, Santiago de Chile
On the Workshop "Equivocal (anthropo)cenes: indigenous ontologies and the ethics of geo-climatic disruptions" at the Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile Estrid Sørensen presented the paper "Co-habitation through experiments of co-laboration in rural energy development" co-authored together with Susana Carmona.

CSCW 2018

Img 0072 03-07 November 2018, New York City
On the annual ACM conference on computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) in New York City, Laura Kocksch presented her work on "Caring for IT Security" along with Andreas Poller from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT). In their paper, they argue for a caring approach on IT Security that accounts for the dispersed heterogeneous actors involved in "doing" security. They argue IT Security is more than a technological given, but both a socio-material practice and ethico-moral phenomena.

Olga Galanova: Panel-Presentation on "Stasi-Surveillance of Everyday Communication in the Private Sphere"

  10-12 October 2018, Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Human Development, Berlin
Olga Galanova opens the First Panel “Causing Fears" with the topic "Stasi-Surveillance of Everyday Communication in the Private Sphere". She presents Stasi-work as a relevant case study for the interdisciplinary analysis of an interface between fear and Technology with the focus on Technology as sourse and medium of the fear communication.
The State Security Service of the former GDR used wiretapping technology not only as a way of collecting information, but also as a method of pressure and so called "destruction". As a part of these activities, stasi paid particular attention to signs of fear by observed people in their communication. These signs were interpreted as general criteria of "anti-state activities" but also as characteristics of self-control and deconspiration. Starting with this point, the paper describes concrete actions of how the Stasi become aware of certain fear markers in overheard phone conversations. The talk is based on the proceeding paper "Angstsprache der Stasi-Unterlagen. Zur Konstitution der Bedrohlichkeit in alltäglichen und institutionellen Kontexten der DDR". In Barbara Job (u.a Hrsg.) Angstsprachen. 2018. VS Verlag.

Research Associate (50%) in Environment/Energy and Social Development/STS

We are looking for a 11-Month Research Associate (50%) (alternatively 5 1/2 Months full-time)

Qualification Profile

Research experience in
  • Environmental Studies and Social Development
  • Science & Technology Studies
  • Qualitative (particularly ethnographic) methods
  • Application for external funding in the above mentioned areas

English language proficiency is required and candidates with research experience in Latin America and Spanish language proficiency will be preferred.

  Work Tasks
  • Contribution to writing funding applications and to teaching in the above mentioned areas.
  • Participation in the organization and co-ordination of tasks at the Chair for Cultural Psychology and Anthropology of Knowledge (e.g. organizing research colloquia and workshops, planning of teaching etc.).
  • The amount of teaching is regulated by §3 of the Lehrverpflichtungsverordnung NRW.

Application deadline: 20. August 2018 to For inquiries, do not hesitate to contact
Please see the full announcement here.