People - 01.08.2019 - 00:00 

Appointment: Tanja Schneider

Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider takes up the post of Associated Professor for Technology Studies as of 1 August 2019.

1 August 2019. Tanja Schneider, born 1 October 1977, has both German and Swiss citizenship.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider completed her licentiate degree in economic sciences at the University of St.Gallen between 1999 and 2003. She then completed a doctorate at the University of Sydney in 2008. Between 2008 and 2015, she was a research fellow in Science and technology studies at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) at the University of Oxford. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2016 she was a James Martin Fellow in the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at Oxford University’s Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA). In the autumn of 2015, she was awarded a permanent lectureship in sociology at the University of St.Gallen and has been a member of its Institute of Sociology (SfS-HSG) ever since. During the winter semester of 2018-19 she held the post of deputy professor of sociology with a specialization in technological sociology and sustainable development (W3) at the University of Passau.

Research: digitization, nutrition and neuromarketing

Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider is a researcher in the interdisciplinary research field of Science and Technology Studies. In thematic terms, her specialization lies in critical reflection of neuroscience and digitisation. Her methodological approach is ethnographically qualitative with reference to political science.

Between 2011 and 2015 Tanja Schneider was part of an interdisciplinary research network of scientists from the universities of Oxford, Mainz, Leiden and Paris, set up to examine the "neuro-turn" in European social sciences and humanities. In her work here she was able to show that neuroscientific theories and technologies are commercialized in so-called neuromarketing in such a way that customers are denied freedom of choice. It is no longer their knowledge and their will, but rather their brains that thus dictate purchasing decisions.

Between 2013 and 2016, Tanja Schneider worked with scientists at the University of Oxford to research the significance of digital platforms for the exchange of information about foodstuffs between various stakeholders such as producers, NGOs and citizens/consumers. Based on three case studies, one barcode-based mobile phone application, a wiki-based platform and an NGO, which uses the internet and social media for its image and communication, the team researched the interactive negotiation of values, expertise and possibilities for action among those involved and developed the concept of "Digital Food Activism".

In her current research, Tanja Schneider is tackling the area of digital health with a focus on the digitization of food and nutrition, in collaboration and exchange with researchers at the universities of Oxford and Warwick and the ETH Zurich, among others. Furthermore, she is also currently preparing a joint research project with Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer (ICS-HSG), which examines human-machine relationships in the Internet of Things and looks at the social implications of autonomous systems.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider’s research papers are internationally recognized. She publishes results from her research in renowned journals (such as "Science, Technology and Human Values", "Information, Communication & Society" and "BioSocieties") and publications. She maintains strong connections within the national and international academic community and is actively involved in the organization of specialist events. Since December 2017, she has been Co-President of the Association for the Study of Science, Technology and Society, Switzerland (STS-CH).

Solid teaching experience at all levels

As a permanent lecturer, Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider brings with her solid teaching experience. She scores highly in teaching evaluations and is liked and respected by students as a committed university lecturer. She teaches both basic and specialized courses, and supports and works with students at all levels. Tanja Schneider is active in the HSG’s academic self-administration, for example as a member of the management committee for contextual studies at the SHSS since 2016. She has also been co-coordinator of the focus area of "Society" in contextual studies since 2017.

Development of the area of technology studies

This is the first appointment of an Associated Professor for Technology Studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). The main purpose of the appointment of Prof. Dr. Tanja Schneider is the development of the area of technology studies and its anchoring in the curriculum of the HSG and, most significantly, in contextual studies.

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