In February 2015, the University of Vienna’s Life-Science-Governance Research Platform will conclude. This end is linked to the tragic death of the Platform’s scientific director Herbert Gottweis in March 2014. In this workshop, we will reflect on the work that has been accomplished over the past decade under the guidance and leadership of Herbert Gottweis. Since the end of the Life-Science-Governance Research Platform is occurring in times that are interesting for science and society as well as for universities and democracies, we further wish to use these reflections to venture into puzzling what might or should come next, and how accomplishments of the future should be both envisioned and organized.
We would like to structure these reflections along three lines, which arguably have also been the major tenets of the Life-Science-Governance Research Platform:
  (1) the ways in which the social sciences can and should engage with the life sciences,
  (2) the ways in which policy analysis can and should “speak truth to power,” as well as
  (3) the ways in which the social sciences can contribute to major societal challenges.
   First, engagements with the life sciences were the major tenet of the research platform—as evidenced by the name of the platform itself. Especially in the platform’s early days, it ventured into critical deconstructions of the life sciences and sought to unpack the politics enacted through the life sciences. Once the platform became more established, engagements with the life sciences took a more collaborative form, with members of the Research Platform often no longer deconstructing the life sciences from a distance but collaborating in often otherwise predominantly bio-medical research projects. In this workshop, we wish to think through what this meant in practice—and how we might or should continue to collaborate in the future.
   Second, many case studies conducted on the life sciences were also contributions to interpretive and critical articulations of policy analysis because they highlighted the role of knowledge and power, and technological and scientific developments. This subfield of policy analysis endeavored to critique the ways in which traditional policy analysis speaks truth to power and suggested other ways for a policy science to function in a democratic society. In particular, the analyses of recent developments in the life sciences highlighted the mutation of power we can observe therein.
   Third, the Life-Science-Governance Research Platform was sustained not just by generous funding from the University of Vienna but also by steady third-party-funding of often transdisciplinary projects. Starting from the experience that transdisciplinary projects can paradoxically be both an opportunity and yet a challenge for social scientists in general, and for junior researchers in particular, we want to reflect on the ways in which the changing research funding structures shape our knowledge practices, societies, and democracies, and therewith engage in a discussion on the appropriate space of the social sciences in democratic societies.
January 22, 2015 19:00 Uhr _ Eröffnung
Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, Vizerektorin für Forschung und Nachwuchsförderung, Universität Wien
Lost in transdisciplinarty? Transdisziplinarität im Kontext universitärer Strukturen (in deutscher Sprache)
Moderation: Thomas König, Abteilung Politikwissenschaft, Institut für Höhere Studien
Am Podium: Helga Nowotny, Chair of ERA Council Forum Austria
  Ulrike Felt, Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung, Universität Wien
  Martin Weiß, Institut für Philosophie, Alpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt
January 23, 2015 09:30-12:00 Uhr
After ELSA: Engaging with the life sciences
Moderation: Ingrid Metzler, Research Platform Life-Science-Governance, University of Vienna
  Ingrid Schneider, BIOGUM, University of Hamburg
  Alexander Bogner, Institute of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  Johannes Starkbaum, Walburg Steurer und Paul Just, Life-Science-Governance Research Platform
January 23, 2015 13:30–17:00 Uhr
After Poststructuralism

Anna Durnová, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

  Frank Fischer, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University
  Kathrin Braun, Leibniz Universität Hanover
  Lars Thorup Larsen, Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University
  Heidrun Am, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU
Sky Lounge, University of Vienna _ Oskar Morgenstern Platz 1, 1090 Vienna

There are no registration fees, yet, we would like to ask you to register to ensure that we have enough food and drinks.
Please register, following this URL:

If you have questions, please get in touch with Ingrid Metzler.

The Life-Science-Governance Research Platform was shaped by its director, Prof. Herbert Gottweis. He sadly passed away on March 31, 2014. Please visit the website of the Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, to find a collection of obituaries and valedictions.
LEGAL NOTICE: LSG Life.Science.Governance Research Platform, University of Vienna, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Vienna
Updated: 2015-01-13