Visit by Dr Ellen Stewart

At the beginning of November, we were delighted to welcome Dr Ellen Stewart from the University of Strathclyde at our department. Her stay was organized by VALUE VACC and CeSCoS (Center for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity).

During her stay, Dr Stewart gave an IPW lecture on her newest book “How Britain Loves the NHS” (Stewart, 2023). Colleagues from the department, students and other researchers came to listen to her interesting insights into the NHS and the “healthcare discrepancy”. She also held a Master Class with five early career researchers from various departments. Dr Stewart’s expertise in public health, and qualitative and participatory methods was widely appreciated. It was a pleasure for the whole VALUE VACC-Team, and we hope to welcome her again!

Katharina Kieslich, Katharina T. Paul, Ellen Stewart (v.l.n.r)

Radboud Summer School 2023 and FÖP

From June 19th until June 23rd, Nora participated in the Radboud Summer School in Nijmegen, Netherlands. This event was co-hosted with MethodsNET and offers various specialized courses on methodological approaches.

As part of the preparation for the upcoming fieldwork, Nora joined Mathilde Cecchini’s course on “Ethnography and Fieldwork”. This provided her with valuable hands-on information and offered the opportunity to discuss and debate with other (junior) researchers from all around the globe.

During the intensive and exciting week of Summer School, Nora also successfully passed the (online) Public Presentation at the Faculty (FÖP), which has to be undergone in the first six to nine months of one’s PhD.

Now, she is a full member of the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences as well as fully prepared and looking forward to the upcoming fieldwork!

Conferences and workshops

On May 22, Dmitrii Zhikharevich presented a paper in progress, "Patricians and Careerists: A Prosopography of Early U.S. Venture Capitalists,1945-1970," stemming from his Ph.D. thesis, at the History and Theory of Capitalism Workshop, University of Chicago. Based on a collection of oral history and archival sources, this paper reconstructs the "collective biography" of the first generation of post-war venture capitalists in the U.S., highlighting their middle-class social origins and hierarchical career mobility. The paper shows how their employment in formal financial institutions and participation in the intra-organizational divisions of labor and knowledge influenced their entry to the emergent VC industry. 

On 2 June, Dmitrii attended the 7th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop and presented a paper "How to make sense of algorithms when they make no sense: the role of interpretative labor," co-authored with Vassily Pigounides (CNAM). Based on ethnographic fieldwork and multiple correspondence analysis, this paper analyzes the division of labor in an AI startup using David Graeber's notion of interpretative labor.

On June 13, Dmitrii participated in the symposium "Technology and Democracy" at the Centre for the Study of the United States, Tel Aviv University, and presented another paper stemming from his Ph.D. thesis, "Towards a Genealogy of Technical Entrepreneurship, 1958-1970." Drawing on Ian Hacking's concept of "human kinds," it shows how the category of "technical" or "technological" entrepreneur, understood as a specific kind of person, emerged in the postwar debates on how to best manage scientists and engineers working in industrial research labs.



Launching VALUE-VACC

f.l.t.r.: Dmitrii Zhikharevich, Anna Pichelstorfer, Christian Haddad, Katharina T. Paul, Nora Hansl, Sam Martin, Charlie Firth.

Photographer: Sam Vanderslott

Presentation of Dmitrii Zhikharevich on Valuation Theory

"Your project must be in full swing by now!", a colleague recently asked - barely six months into this six-year project. This calls for a first brief VALUE-VACC update.

As of February 2023, a team of two postdocs (Anna Pichelstorfer and Dmitrii Zhikarevich) and a PhD student (Nora Hansl) form the VALUE-VACC team, along with PI Katharina Paul. Coming from different disciplines (political science, STS, and economic sociology), we are thoroughly enjoying getting to know each other's work and ways of thinking about the world (of vaccination). 

We formally kicked off the project last month with our collaborators of the Oxford Vaccine Group with the brilliant Sam Vanderslott who heads the Vaccines & Society Group there. We spent two days discussing each other's work and developing ideas for joint work, including publications and conference panels as well as joint workshops in Vienna and Oxford, including digital health expert Sam Martin and Charlie Firth who helped us think about community engagement and communication. We were also lucky to have our fantastic colleague Christian Haddad at the workshop - his talk on antibiotics and innovation governance was truly inspiring! Watch this space for updates and forthcoming events! 

Finally, we also just received ethics approval from the University of Vienna research ethics commission and are now beginning to adjust our sampling strategy and preparing for recruitment of interview partners. So VALUE-VACC seems to be in full swing indeed and we are all very excited about this next phase!