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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Science Studies

Science Studies

Our research and teaching addresses science and technology in society. In modern societies scientific knowledge production plays a key role, raising questions about what distinguishes modern science, how it is embedded in society and what processes drive the dynamic relationship between science and society. The aim is to gain insights into how scientific knowledge is produced and communicated, valuated and assessed, financed and governed and, at the same time, what social dimensions (individuals/groups, organizations) are addressed by these processes.

We consider science to be a complex system, with intertwining micro-, meso- and macro-processes, whilst also leading to numerous frictions worthy of study. Firstly, we attend to the interdependence of science and society, for example by investigating into marketization processes of science or by looking into phenomena of everyday-life scientization. Secondly, we also address issues about the epistemic foundations of science, its core methods and theories

Our research currently focuses on issues revolving around (e)valuations and assessments of science. Taking up a more general debate in the social sciences on the relevance of (e)valuation practices we are not only investigating evaluation- and peer review-practices in science, but we also take an interest in how scientific topics, research fields and disciplines gain or lose relevance.

→ Research


Upcoming Events

14.-15.11.2019 Workshop "Digitalisierte Bewertung in Hochschule und Wissenschaft. Neue Formen der evaluativen Selbst- und Fremdbeobachtung in Forschung, Lehre und Administration"

→ Events


Recent Publications

  • Reinhart, M., Krüger A.K., Heßelmann, F. (2019) Nach der Bewertung ist vor der Bewertung – Sichtbarkeit und Emotionalität als verbindende Elemente von Bewertungsprozessen. In: Nicolae S., Endreß M., Berli O., Bischur D. (eds) (Be)Werten. Beiträge zur sozialen Konstruktion von Wertigkeit. Soziologie des Wertens und Bewertens. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. → Link
  • Heßelmann, F. (2019): Die simulierte Moral: Fehlverhalten und Sanktion in der Wissenschaft. In: Joller, S. and Stanisavljevic, M. (Hg.) Moralische Kollektive: Theoretische Grundlagen und empirische Einsichten. Wissen, Kommunikation und Gesellschaft. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 153–176. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-22978-8_9
  • Sachse, J. (2019): Do Metrics Matter? The Effect of Indicators on Scientific Search Behavior. Proceedings of 2019 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR '19), March 10–14, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland UK. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 417–420. DOI: 10.1145/3295750.3298973
  • Flink, T. & Peter, T., "Excellence and Frontier Research as Travelling Concepts in Science Policymaking", Minerva (2018) 56: 431. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-018-9351-7
  • Hendriks, B., Simons, A. & Reinhart, M., "What are Clinician Scientists Expected to do? The Undefined Space for Professionalizable Work in Translational Biomedicine", Minerva (2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-019-09367-4  
  • Hendriks, B., Schendzielorz, C., Reinhart, M. (2018) Förderung und Evaluation der Forschung in den Lebenswissenschaften in der Schweiz, eine Interviewstudie. → Pdf
  • Fenton, A., Blind. K., & Gauch, S. (2018). The use of scientific literature in ISO standards. In Standards for a smarter future (EURAS Proceedings) (45-58). Dublin: Wissenschaftsverlag Mainz.


MA program Science Studies

Since the fall semester 2012/13 the we offer the MA program Science Studies. The program is taught in German.

→ MA Wissenschaftsforschung (german)



As regards our research and teaching, we collaborate intensely with the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies and other cooperating institutions in Berlin.

→ Collaborations


Postal Address

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur- Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Lehrbereich Wissenschaftsforschung
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin


Visitors Address

Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2093 4503
Email: wissenschaftsforschung@hu-berlin.de