Ingmar Lippert's book shelf
Ingmar Lippert

Ingmar Lippert

Research Profile

How do the environment, the digital and the social meet? This question powers my research. I explore the situated politics at the heart of a “society” that wants to be simultaneously “digital” and “sustainable”. This prompts me to analyse the structures and contingencies of power, knowledge, technology, science and sustainability.

I specifically focus on data practices and the politics of and within data – engaging in the overlapping empirical domains of the environment and technology. I ask questions about how human agents approach doing environments, doing data well; I scrutinise the values and commitments embedded in data management and governance; and I analytically problematise how knowledges are shaped by (and in) both informational and environmental infrastructures. This makes me interested in these infrastructures' bugs, their frictions and seamless integrations.

My research interacts with, and cuts across, sociologies of technology, of the environment and (un)sustainability, and of science and knowledge. I work in the borderlands of these sociologies by positioning my research in the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS) and by engaging in a transdisciplinary mode with the data and knowledge practitioners whose practices I analyse.


Based in the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at Frankfurt University (aka Goethe University), I focus teaching and research on methods and roots of theorising in Science and Technology Studies, maintaining my domain interest in questions of sustainability governance. This work builds on my PhD in Sociology and research and teaching experience cutting across social and cultural ways of knowing and materialising the environment and the digital.

My 2019-2023 research at Brandenburg University of Technology's Chair of Technoscience Studies, focused on the intersection of knowledge, technology and coal. The latter tied in with my role as Associate Professor at IT University of Copenhagen's Technologies in Practice Research Group (2019-2022), in which I co-led the project Socio-Cultural Carbon and conducted research on environmental monitoring/reporting as well as on energy governance and autochthonous environmental knowledges.

As a Senior Visiting Research Fellow of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin's STS Group at its Humanities of Nature unit from 2016 to 2021, I focused on the infrastructure of environmental reporting within the European Union. Building on my interest in digital practices, I conducted conceptual research to support the museum's reflexive analysis of its digitisation practices.

2014-2018, I have been Assistant Professor at IT University of Copenhagen in the field of Social Studies of Innovation and Organisation in Digital Societies in the Technologies in Practice Research Group. My teaching focused on postgraduate teaching on digital accountability, management and governance as well as on an introductory course on society-technology relations. This work was shaped in collaborations with ITU's feminist Experimental Techno-Humanities and Organizational Services lab (ETHOS) and its Pervasive Interaction Technology Laboratory (PiT).

2012-13 I was Lecturer at Tembusu College/National University of Singapore: teaching future "change makers" about the contradictory realities of climate change and green capitalism. In parallel, I was member of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Cluster on Science, Technology and Society.

In 2012, I completed my PhD "Enacting Environments: An Ethnography of the Digitalisation and Naturalisation of Emissions" supervised by sociologist Christoph Lau (Augsburg University) and anthropologist Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University).


Since 2023 I serve on the editorial board of the EASST community's house journal Science & Technology Studies (which we publish as diamond open access). As a peer reviewer, I contribute(d) to MIT Press; Oxford University Press; Social Studies of Science; Science as Culture; Science & Technology Studies; Anthropological Quarterly; Ephemera; Environmental Politics; Land Use Policy;Human Ecology; Management Information Systems Quarterly.

I contribute to the scientific community as as a reviewer for a range of European research councils, including 2018-22 as panel member of the Swedish Research Council Formas for their ‘Climate Change Panel’; and have contributed as a reviewer also to the Wellcome Trust (UK) ‘Humanities and Social Science Scheme’; the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) ‘Social Sciences and Humanities Domain’ (Innovational Research Incentives Scheme); the Poland National Science Centre ‘HS – Social Sciences and Humanities Panel’; and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) ‘Spark Panel’.

2010 to 2022 I have been a member of the Council of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and continue my membership in this STS association. I am also a member of the International Sociological Association, the German Sociological Association, the German STS networks stsing and Gesellschaft für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung and of the Bund demokratischer Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler. For 2023, I organised the first (Aachen), as a conference that provides space to support interdisciplinary relations within the German research community doing, and engaged with, STS. I joined the Climate Social Science Network to invest my sociological expertise in coordinated social science climate change research.

For the Hans Böckler Foundation (as part of the Confederation of German Trade Unions) I act as a liasion lecturer, reviewer and researcher.

Open Source and Open Access

As a researcher I try to make my publications available open access, working with open access journals, or in repositories.

As a knowledge worker employing digital technologies, I run a Fedora work station, broadly contribute to the Fedora and Gnome community, and occassionally take part in the development of QualCoder, an open source qualitative data analysis package, and JabRef, an open source bibliography manager.

Research and Supervision Interests

  • Theory and Analytics
    • practice theories, specifically Pierre Bourdieu’s work
    • feminist analytics of technoscience
    • (post)actor-network theory, specifically ontological and ontic politics
    • performativity of economics
    • discourse and dispositif analyses
  • “Digital Society”
    • data politics
    • databases
    • intersections of small and big data
    • qualculation and data practices
    • monitoring and accountability relations
  • Environment and (Un)Sustainability
    • climate, carbon, coal and extractivism
    • water, fish
    • biodiversity, plants
    • ecosystem services
  • Method/ology/graphy
    • workplace ethnography
    • experimental digital methods
    • methodography of STS methods