Notice: Due to planned maintenance work, the TU Dortmund websites will be unavailable for short periods of time several times on April 17, 2024 between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.
To content
Center for Higher Education
Guest talk

Dr. Lisa Sigl

(Center for Higher Education (zhb), TU Dort­mund University, Germany)

On 'Modes on Coping' With Uncertainties: How Young Academic Life Scientists (Learn to) Deal With Precarious Conditions

The experience of uncertainties in exploring the unknown – and dealing with them – is a key characteristic of what it means to be a life science researcher, but we have only started to understand how this characteristic shapes cultures of knowledge production, particularly in times when other – more social – uncertainties enter the field.

Although the lab studies tradition has explored the workings of epistemic uncertainties, the range of potent uncertainty-experiences in research cultures has been broadened within the neoliberal reorganization of academic institutions. Most importantly, the stronger dependency on competitive project funding has led to increased social uncertainties. Being employed part-time and for shorter periods of time, researchers often find themselves in the precarious situation of high employment uncertainty.

In her dissertation Lisa Sigl argues that the currently predominant form of organizing academic research (the project) creates a structural link between epistemic and social uncertainties. It then describes empirically different modes of coping with these uncertainties that researchers deploy and that seem to have become a variable in the governance of research cultures. To do so it takes the academic life sciences in Austria as an example and explores them using approaches from both Science and Technology Studies and Labor Studies.


Lisa Sigl is currently postdoctoral researcher at the Professorship of Higher Education. Her research areas are in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and include: Governance of Academic Work Cultures, Precarisation of Work Relations in Knowledge Production, Cultures of Knowledge Production in social Movements and social Innovation, Commodification of Academic Research (incl. Resistance & Subversion).

Wednesday, 8 July 2015, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Presentation