Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Laura Fichtner

Laura Fichtner

fichtner (at)

Laura Fichtner is a PhD candidate and research associate with the Ethics in Information Technology research group at Universität Hamburg’s Department of Informatics in Germany, where she researches and teaches on the intersections of information technology, ethics and politics. In Spring 2020, she is also a Visiting Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology & Society (STS) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

For her dissertation project, Laura studies the media discourse that accompanied the introduction of a German law called NetzDG which regulates content on social media. In her study she is particularly interested in how we make sense of the interplay of the ethical and political dimensions of information technology and in how contestations over values play out in internet politics. As part of this research, she critically examines dominant narratives of how democracy ought to be actualized on social media and the imaginaries they mobilize.

Laura graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society from the University of Twente, where she specialized in ethics of technology and wrote her thesis on surveillance and internet governance. She also completed a Peacebuilding curriculum at Universität Hamburg and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in Germany.


Fichtner, L. (2018). What kind of cyber security? Theorising cyber security and mapping approaches. Internet Policy Review, 7(2). DOI: 10.14763/2018.2.788.

Fichtner, L., Pieters, W., & Teixeira, A. (2016, September). Cybersecurity as a Politikum: Implications of Security Discourses for Infrastructures. In Proceedings of the 2016 New Security Paradigms Workshop (pp. 36-48). ACM Digital Library.

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