Science and Politics. Exploring Relations Between Academic Research, Higher Education and Science Policy

International Summer School des Forum Internationale Wissenschaft Bonn und der University of Bonn

Recent years have pointed to ever-growing interdependencies between science and politics. The mutual entanglement of both spheres manifests on many levels: In the face of complex societal challenges, ranging from migration crises to climate change, political decisionmaking is ever more reliant on scientific expertise and policy advice. As a consequence, the institutionalization of politically relevant scientific advice has substantially diversified over the years, ranging from governmental, yet independent expert organizations and advisory positions, to think tanks or international expert agencies. Universities as well as individual scientists, in turn, are responsive to political demands and changing government regimes. Both academic research and the higher education system depend on political resources, the provision of a regulatory framework, afunctioning education system and so forth. Recent scholarship in Science and Technology Studies (STS), Higher Education Studies (HES), and Science Policy and Innovation Studies (SPIS) aims at qualifying this intricate relationship between science and politics, in its various, oftentimes subtle, even hidden, dimensions.

In nine different workshops, the summer school will address questions like:

  • How are science and politics entangled in practices, processes, and institutions? How are they co-produced?
  • How do contemporary evaluation regimes impact academic careers and processes of knowledge production?
  • How does technological change – such as digitization or Blockchain technologies – impact science and its organization?
  • How do political imperatives – such as diversity concepts – impact science and higher education?
  • How are accelerating processes of internationalization inscribed in scientific institutions and practices?
  • How do concepts and ideologies shape science policy trajectories?

Keynote Lectures

Rudolf Stichweh (University of Bonn, Germany)
James Wilsdon (University of Sheffield, UK)

Furthermore, participants are invited to join the FIW Distinguished Lecture by Daniel Sarewitz (Arizona State University, USA) that will take place after the opening of the Summer School on 10 September 2018 (10–14 September 2018).


  • Jan-Peter Voß (Berlin): Science & Politics –Relations of Co-Production
  • Ruth Müller (Munich): Science is Politics by Other Means? Career Norms and the Politics of Knowledge Production
  • Richard Heidler (Bonn): The Role of Evaluation in Science & Technology Policy
  • Julika Griem (Essen) & David Kaldewey (Bonn): The Language of Science Policy
  • Tim Flink (Berlin): Same Same but Different – Understanding Different Threads and Logics of International Science Policy Making
  • Barbara Brandl (Jena): The Political Economy of Innovation & Technology Development – The Case of Blockchain
  • Berit Stoppa (Bonn): Diversity Management in Higher Education – A Peek into International Diversity Politics
  • Tatiana Fumasoli (London): Multi-Level Governance in Higher Education and Research – Theory, Methods and Empirics
  • Marcel Graf-Schlattmann (Paderborn), Melanie Wilde (Paderborn), Jana Gieselmann (Bielefeld) and Sabrina Petersohn (Hanover): Universities Disrupted? Challenges and Opportunities of Digitization in Higher Education

Addressed at PhD students, early PostDocs, and science policy experts/practitioners, this summer school explores multifaceted science-politics entanglements. Participants will learn about core issues of STS, HES, and SPIS in small interactive workshops. In discussion panels, they will have the opportunity topresent and discuss their ongoing research projects with selected groups of fellow participants and advanced scholars from their field. In addition, there are keynote lectures from leading scholars of the field, a panel discussion including science policy makers from various institutions, and leisure activities.

For further information see the event website To apply for participation, we kindly ask you to send a short CV and the application form (which you find at the event website) until 15 May 2018 to summerschool.fiw(at)uni-bonn(dot)de.

Letters of acceptance/rejection will be sent by May 31, 2018 as well as detailed information about the location, conference schedule and accommodation options. Participants are invited to contribute a paper presentation or interactive poster to the summer school program, but of course, participants without own presentation are also welcome. Submissions for presentations and posters can cover the summer school topic and related questions but are not restricted to it. Paper presentations will have 20 minutes plus discussion. Each poster presenter will have 5 minutes for the poster presentation. After the presentation, the facilitator will open the discussion with the audience.


  • Presenting participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points.


  • The participation fee amounts to 80 Euros.


  • There is child care available (free of additional charge).
  • Coffee, lunch, and conference dinner are included.
  • A limited number of travel stipends (400 Euro) are available for oversea participants

Fort further information see the Call for Applications here: (PDF).