You are here: Home

IFZ Graz

Schlögelgasse 2
8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43/316/813909-0
Fax: +43/316/813909-11


How to get there



Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice - What does responsible research and innovation mean in practice?15.11.2017, Graz 

This event will be organised by the RRI Platform Austria with the support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and the Economy. The event addresses the public and private sector research and innovation community as well as people from the public, who are interested in discussions around the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in various thematic contexts. In addition to plenary lectures and good practice examples, working groups will be held, which will offer the opportunity to discuss with experts and participants about questions such as "What does RRI mean for different working and research contexts?" and "How can RRI be implemented in practice?".
Further Details: Program  
For organisational reasons registration is requested by 3 November 2017. Participation is free!



IFZ-enclosure on future topics

IFZ members met in order to discuss the future topics and activities of the institute. Which overriding and cross-cutting priorities in the fields of technology, science and sustainability research can play a common role alongside the content of the research areas? And how can they find their place in the everyday work of the insitute in addition to proven formats such as Brown Bag Sessions, lecture series or conferences?



Call for Sessions - STS Conference Graz 2018

The Call for Sessions for the STS Conference Graz 2018 (7th - 8th of May), will be open from 1/9/2017 - 31/10/2017.

All details regarding the call and the conference can be found on:



Book Release:
How Genes Matter. Genetic Medicine as Subjectivisation Practices

Understanding the significance of genetic factors for our lives requires an analysis that goes beyond biological aspects. It is especially necessary to take into account how human beings relate to others and to themselves. Who we are is a result of social action and the ways in which human beings constitute themselves as subjects. Seen from this perspective, genetic medicine is a social practice that shapes how we think about us, how we conduct our behaviour and how we care for our children. This book scrutinises practices by which individuals become knowledgeable about their genes and constitute them as responsible decision makers.



RRI-experiment of IFZ validated by experts

To validate the RRI transition experiment of FoTRRIS in Austria, the IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler and Magdalena Wicher) organised an expert workshop in Graz.
Eight Austrian RRI experts came on 12th of July and discussed key learnings on the concrete co-RRI experiment on sustainable food systems, and more generally how the ‘RRIness’ of the Austrian R&I system could be enhanced. In addition, the question was asked how RRI could be better anchored in the Austrian research landscape. In the next step, scenarios are developed which are intended to show possible ways of establishing RRI.



Think-Tank within the project Modelling Health. Human Technology Interface statt

On July, 5, 2017, the IFZ (Marinta Lang und Bernhard Wieser) in cooperation with its project-partner, Meduni Graz, organized a Think Tank, were experts from medical discipline, home nursing care, E-health and Ambient Assisted Living technologies got together. The event was part of the Modelling Health. Human Technology Interface project, supported by the Zukunftsfonds Steiermark. The aim of the project is to collect concepts and possible solutions for “medical avatars”. These “virtual health twins” enable real time representations of physiological processes in people.

During the Workshop, experts were discussing potentials, possible solutions and additional values of medical avatars in the field of gerontology and geriatrics, mainly for maintaining the autonomy of elderly care at home (of elderly people in health care settings).

The wide range of interesting ideas are the basis for the creation of video simulations that will be used as inputs for further focus-group meetings in autumn.



How can research interests of teenagers be used to raise their technological competence? How can gender stereotypes in technology-learning be avoided and diversity-sensitive teaching enabled? Anita Thaler focused on these questions in her talk at the Young Science-Network-Meeting about "Doing Gender in Young Citizen Science" at 26th of June 2017 in Vienna.

Anita Thaler emphasized in her talk about the Sparkling Science pilot project „Engineer Your Sound!” that “an informed approach of de-dramatizing gender“ is key for gender just technology didactics .

© Young Science / Lydia Steinmassl



On June 7th the fourth of a whole workshop series took place, where stakeholders work with researchers on relevant research questions, with the aim to produce socially relevant knowledge and responsible innovations.

The IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) established a Community of Practice (CoP) with local farmers, entrepreneurs, research and policy experts, as well as actors from the alternative food scene to work on innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system in the Graz area. The participants of this CoP met regularly as a group, but also bilateral and go on communicating via e-mail, phone and also now with a web platform (in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS ).

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



What if coding was a way to solve your problems? What if coding was so simple; you would understand how to do it intuitively? What if computer codes were not binary, but rather fluid like life itself? What if . . . ?
Anita Thaler gave a presentation at the Open Commons symposium in Linz to reflect on a queer-feminist understanding of coding, which she developed with her colleague Magdalena Wicher. Their queer-feminist code for teaching digital competence is based on three ideas: First, educating children and young people in coding should aim at making them competent in solving their everyday problems in terms of building fundamental competences in an emancipatory educational tradition (Oskar Negt 1998). Second, coding should be accessible for everybody, thus also ‘educationally disadvantaged’ young people should be in clear focus. Third, coding itself should be thought radically different, to open up new ways of thinking and open up new opportunities.
The presentation can be watched here (German video).


Jennifer Dahmen and Anita Thaler kicked the second STS conference day off with a keynote on ‘Social Gender Justice in Science and Research’. Designed as discussion between both of the speakers, they claimed that an intersectional approach is necessary for understanding all aspects of social gender (in)justice in science and research, which implies that even with achieved gender equality academia would remain unjust. A constant exchange of research staff is for instance in Germany even supported and wanted by University law, thus it builds a base for legitimate political but not social behaviour.

New paradigms like RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) offer chances for a structural change in academic institutions but cannot simply be implemented without considering and reflecting the consequences of the individuals in the system. Dahmen and Thaler referred to their new published book , which is available open access in an online version.

In the afternoon, in addition to the keynote speech, a double session with six papers was devoted to different aspects of social gender justice in academia. Inka Greusing (Technical University of Berlin/Germany) was first to present results from her PhD thesis, which showed how hetero-normativity is still (re)produced in the discourse of gender equality and justice in the engineering field. Based on the interview results with 25 female PhD students in engineering Veronika Paksi (Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest/Hungary) showed that the uncertain labour market opportunities and the male-dominated organisational culture heavily affect their childbearing-related decisions especially in the private sector. Andrea Wolffram (RWTH Aachen/Germany) explained how the subjectivity of committee members influences “excellence evaluations” in appointment procedures for professors. Marita Haas (Vienna Technical University/Austria) and Helene Schiffbänker (Joanneum Research/Austria) investigated in their research, how independence is constructed in specific promotion and grant selection process for young researchers and whether this is done differently for female and male scientists. By means of an interview study in the natural sciences (chemistry and geology), Susanne Kink’s (AG Queer STS, IFZ Graz/Austria) paper contributed to uncovering the implicit mechanisms of masculinity and privilege and highlighted possible obstacles on the way to the top of academia, especially in natural sciences. The last paper was given by Angela Wroblewski (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna/Austria), who claimed in her presentation that a reflexive approach is necessary for overcoming the still persisting gender segregation in some fields of science and academic leadership.

The session was concluded by a panel discussion with four experts on gender (in-) equalities in science and research from the U.S., Portugal and Austria. Based on the main question "How to overcome social gender injustice in academia and research?", possible strategies for changing academia into a work place with an inclusive and creative environment for diverse employees 



The 16th STS Conference Graz - "Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies" took place in Graz from 8 to 9 May 2017. This year's focus on "Social Justice in Science, Technology and Environ- mental Issues" was presented by 120 participating scientists from over 20 nations in lectures as well as in workshops.

We would like to thank all the participants who contributed to the success of this conference!

Impressions (Fotocredits:stsconfgraz) of this year´s conference.



How can research be thought differently? How can societal problems be solved with social innovations? Questions like these are analysed in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus.

Since March, IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) organises a workshop series, where stakeholders work with researchers on relevant research questions, with the aim to produce socially relevant knowledge and responsible innovations. Therefore on April 7th local farmers, entrepreneurs, research and policy experts, as well as actors from the alternative food scene met met again to work on innovative solutions for a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



After twenty years of research on the subject of food, the IFZ has set up a new research area for sustainable food supply systems - Food Systems for short. Sandra Karner, long-time research associate and ombudswoman of the IFZ, will take over as head of this department. In an interview , Sandra Karner explains the emergence of the research area as to why transdisciplinarity is so important and how, through policy and practice in an RRI project (Responsible Research and Innovation), the aim is to make food supply more sustainable in Graz.



Local farmers, entrepreneurs, policy experts and actors from the alternative food scene met on March 16th and worked together with an IFZ team (Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler und Magdalena Wicher) on a vision for 2022 towards a more sustainable food system in the Graz area.

This was the second Austrian workshop in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where responsible research carried out in a cooperative way (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) is in the focus. While the first workshop broached the issues of by which measures the food system in Graz could be optimised and their feasibility, the participants decided now upon four most important topics, which will be discussed further with more stakeholders from April on.
If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .



Magdalena Wicher represented the IFZ on the 4th of March at the Art & Feminism Edit-a-thon which was part of the programme of the Elevate Festivals , where she gave an input on Gender & Queer Theory in Science and Technology Studies. As part of the Open Data Day, explicitly feminists and people with all gender identities were invited to this editing marathon to contribute to a better visibility of women and LGBTTIQ-people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual and queer) in Wikipedia and Wikidata. Through the depiction of feminist, queer and gender topics, which are researched at the IFZ and within the working group QueerSTS , the commonalities of the research activities and the work of the participants of the edit-a-thon could be displayed, e.g. regarding the democratization of education, access to online resources and equality and social participation and inclusion of all people .



We welcome Martina Lang to the IFZ Team. Martina Lang will be working in the research unit "Modern Biotechnology". She will be primarly concerned with the theme „Healthy Aging_Assisted Living“. In this computer-based health technologies of the future are analyzed for their social acceptance towards.

© Fotostudio Seifert



On February 15 the first of a series of workshops took place at IFZ, where committed stakeholders from policy, farms, research, and alternative food scene work together to create a more sustainable and social just food system in the area of Graz.

Sandra Karner, Anita Thaler and Magdalena Wicher organise and moderate this workshops in the framework of the EU project FoTRRIS , where the cooperative and responsible research (Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI) about the “grand challenges” (like climate change) is in the focus.

The first workshop broached the issues of the current system (David Steinwender presented a study “Graz feeds itself”) and by which measures and ideas the food system in Graz could be optimised. Finally the ideas where mapped according to their feasibility. If you are interested in more information, please contact the IFZ-team of FoTRRIS .


21/10/ 2016

Fellowship Programme 2017/2018: Applications to the Fellowship Programme 2017/2018 can be submitted by December 31, 2016, via email or postal mail.

Read more >>>



On 22 of August 2016 Dr. Anita Thaler (head of research unit „women – technology – environment“) gave a key note speech at this year’s ditact_women‘s IT summer university ( ) in Salzburg. her talk was titled „Das Paradoxon der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien: Von allen genutzt, von zu wenigen studiert?“ (The Paradoxon of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Used by everybody, but studied by too few?). Thaler discussed the facts that only 13% of ICT university degrees are hold by women, but only 2.6% of all university degrees are ICT degrees. So the main question of the talk was: Why do young people consider ICT not attractive as a study major?

Presentation slides



EU-Project GPP2020: 113 public tenders led to savings of 900.000 t CO2

GPP 2020 aimed to mainstream low-carbon procurement across Europe in support of the EU’s goals to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020. To this end, GPP 2020 implemented 113 low-carbon tenders, which resulted in substantial CO₂ savings.

The Austrian project partners were the Federal Procurement Agency and the IFZ. Tender Models were developed for 11 low carbon tenders of the Federal Procurement Agency. The Tender Models offer information about savings of GHG and energy that due to the environmental criteria of the tenders. For more information, please see the projects website .



Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths

Anita Thaler was invited by the Austrian Ministry for Families and Youth to give a presentation and hold a workshop about „Education beyond gender-stereotypical paths“. Main topics were gender identity, gender roles, educational paths of young people, the influence factor gender, and the question how children and teenagers can find their vocation beyond gender roles and expectations.

In her presentation Anita Thaler explained psychological, sociological and media-pedagogical theories and gave practical examples.

In the workshop participants could reflect their own biographies and learn more about the topic and didactical methods how to present the topic in their own adult education practice as parent educators.

The content of the presentation has been published by Anita Thaler for parents‘ educators (German) here.



15th Annual STS Conference „Critical Issues in Science, Technology“

Keynote: Heather Laube (USA)

190 participants from 25 nations - that is the résumé of the STS Conference which took place in Graz from May 9 to 10, 2016. It was organized by the Institute of Science, Technology and Society Studies in cooperation with the IFZ, the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS). 30 sessions were held in which the participants discussed topics such as „Policy and Technology“, „Gender and Queer STS“,  „Responsible Research and Innovation“, „Energy, Mobility and Sustainability“, „Nutrition, Health and Biomedicine“, and „Information and Communication Technologies, Surveillance and Society“.

More information on the conference can be found here:



First volume of the „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“

The working group Queer STS – comprising of current and former colleagues of IFZ (Anita Thaler, Birgit Hofstätter, Daniela Zanini-Freitag, Jenny Schlager, Julian Anslinger, Lisa Scheer, Magdalena Wicher, Susanne Kink, Thomas Berger) has published the first volume of their online-journal „Queer-Feminist Science & Technology Studies Forum“, sharing current queer-feminist approaches to science, technology and society studies.

Volume 1 ...


Older news can be found in the News archive.