Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg

Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg (at)

Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna and a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard STS Program. Her visit is a part of her EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, in which she explores re-emerging research on and attempts towards medicalizing psychedelic substances in the United States. Her research focuses on sociopolitical dynamics of emerging technoscientific fields, with an emphasis on the role of retro-prospective imaginations, governance processes, and public engagement.

Claudia studied media and communication science, English and American studies, and sociology with a specialization in science and technology studies at the University of Vienna. Her master thesis was an ethnographic study of how families appropriate Reality TV formats in their homes (2005). In her doctoral research she analyzed and reflected on the role of analogies in public engagement with nanotechnology (2014). This work sparked her ongoing interest in how imaginations of past technoscientific developments fuel future-oriented sociotechnical imaginaries and are used to legitimize governance frameworks.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Claudia has been visiting scholar at the Munich Center for Technology in Society, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, and postdoctoral assistant at the interdisciplinary research platform Nano-Norms-Nature at the University of Vienna (2015-2018). From 2013 to 2015, she has worked as science communicator in the life sciences, conducting public and stakeholder engagement on issues such as personalized medicine and animal testing in biomedical research. She also was research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society in Graz (2012-2013) and predoctoral researcher at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna (2008-2012).

Recent publications

Schwarz-Plaschg, Claudia (2018): The Power of Analogies for Imagining and Governing Emerging Technologies. NanoEthics 12/2, 139-153.

Schwarz-Plaschg, Claudia (2018): Nanotechnology Is Like…The Rhetorical Roles of Analogies in Public Engagement. Public Understanding of Science 27/2, 153-167.


Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.