General Information

Contact Information


  • Material politics of energy transitions and sustainability measures
  • STS and relational approaches like actor-network theory
  • Economic sociology
  • Digital methods
  • Waste, energy, and valuation studies
  • Ethnography and qualitative social science research methods


Programming and Software Skills:

  • Python: Data Science
  • R: Data Science
  • Gephi: Networks
  • MaxQDA (AND Markdown): Coding
  • Markdown: Memos via Obsidian

Education and Experience


  • 2021: Digital Methods Summer School 2021, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • This is the prestigious Summer School conducted by the Digital Methods Initiative in Amsterdam in collaboration with Density Design, Milan
    • The theme of the 2021 Summer School was “Fake everything: Social media’s struggles with inauthentic activities”.
    • Taking part as a research group manager.
    • Group report published on the theme of greenwashing claims.
  • 2014-2019: PhD, Dr. phil (summa cum laude) in Sociology, Department of Social Sciences, Kassel University, Kassel, Germany
    • Publication from the thesis: “Hightech am Ende. Über das globale Recycling von Elektroschrott und die Entstehung neuer Werte” [Hightech at the end. On the global recycling of electronic waste and the creation of new values]
    • Supervisors: Prof Dr Jörn Lamla, Dr Tanja Bogusz
  • 2013: German Academic Exchange Service, Summer School, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
    • German-Indo academic exchange
  • 2012: Semester abroad, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New-Delhi, India
    • Studies with the Centre for the Studies of Social Systems
    • Empirical research in India through the faculty
    • Internship with Chintan (Environmental NGO), New-Delhi
  • 2011-2013: Master of Arts, Sociology
  • 2008-2011: Bachelor of Arts, Sociology (major) and Intercultural Business Communication (minor), Friedrich‐Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
  • 2007: A levels, Secondary school, Hamm (Westf.), Germany

Research Experience

  • 2022-Current: Postdoctoral Researcher, Collaborative Research Centre Virtual Living Realities, Ruhr-University Bochum, affiliated with the RUSTlab, Bochum, Germany
    • Employed in the project A02 that studies the infrastructuring of data centres and the planetary resources thus mobilized.
    • The study also goes global so South-East Asia, Vietnam and Taiwan in particular
  • 2021-2022: Postdoctoral Researcher, Collaborative Research Centre Media of Cooperation, affiliated with the Chair of Sociology (especially Workplace Studies), Siegen University, Siegen, Germany
    • Employed in the project A04 that focuses on public sector workplace knowledges using the example of the German railway (Deutsche Bahn).
    • I studied the recent shift of the German railway towards a climate-friendly organisation that is drawing heavily on digital innovations.
  • 2019-2021: Postdoctoral Researcher and Coordinator, Chair of Cultural Psychology and Anthropology of Knowledge, Faculty of Social Science, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
    • Coordinator of the Ruhr University Science and Technology lab (RUSTlab).
    • Teaching science and technology studies at Master level (graduate students)
  • 2019: Visiting Scholar, Department of Work, Organization and Technology (Management School)/Centre for Science Studies (Sociology), Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 2013-2019: Pre-doc, research and teaching assistant, research group coordinator, Chair of Social Theory, Department of Social Science, Kassel University, Kassel, Germany
    • Teaching at Bachelor level (undergraduate students)
    • From 2016 until 2017: coordinator of an interdisciplinary research group that focuses on consumer protection research
  • 2009-2013: Student assistant and tutor, Institute for Sociology, Friedrich‐Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
    • Research support, data collection, editorial work
    • English language course tutoring

Industry Experience:

  • Since 2019: Freelance coding work: data analytics
  • 2009-2014: Freelance Work, Jena, Germany
    • Project work and team leader: marketing and advertising
    • Qualitatively and quantitatively designed marketing research
    • Pitching of projects, production of reports, presentation of reports.

Teaching Experience:

  • 6/2021-05/2022: Consulting postdoc in the mentoring program of the Collaborative Research Centre Media of Cooperation, Siegen University
  • 4/2020-09/2020: Enjoying theories (in English, M.A. Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2019-09/2020: Research seminar: Culture, technology, and energy in transformation (M.A. two semesters, Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 4/2020-09/2020: Enjoying theories (in English, M.A. Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2019-04/2020: Enjoying theories (in English, M.A. Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 04/2019-09/2019: Enjoying theories (in English, M.A. Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 04/2019-09/2019: Global inequalities and ecology (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 04/2019-09/2019: Introduction to Science and Technological Studies (B.A. Social Science), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2018-03/2019: What does sustainability mean? (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 04/2018-09/2018: Social theory 101: Nature and culture (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 10/2017-03/2018: Controversial information technology. On Science, technology and the economics of evaluation (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 04/2017-09/2017: Participation in the B.A. research seminar “Mapping controversies“ (seminar leader: Jörn Lamla). Supervision of a group on the subject of “Electronic waste and new smartphone designs“, Kassel University
  • 04/2017-09/2017: Social theory 101: Objectivity and critique (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 10/2016-03/2017: Sociology of waste (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 04/2015-09/2015: About theories of democracy and the post-democracy hypothesis (B.A. Sociology), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
  • 4/2015-09/2015: Social theory 101: Objectivity and critique (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 10/2014-03/2015: “A T-shirt for 2,50? Why even wash it?“ – Value and value creation in a global world (B.A. Sociology, Kassel), Kassel University
  • 2014-2019: Lecture: Consumption and socialization (part of an annual lecture series, Political Science), Kassel University
  • 4/2014-09/2014: Social theory 101: N. Luhmann and B. Latour (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University
  • 10/2013-03/2014: Collective consumption (B.A. Sociology, Kassel, with Jörn Lamla), Kassel University
  • 10/2013-03/2014: Introduction to scientific rigor (B.A. Sociology), Kassel University

Grants and Funding

Accepted  Application Role
2023– : Network „Waste in motion: Mobilisations of waste and pollutants as a sociomaterial configurations”, gefördert von der DFG Co-author
2017–2018: „Smart Environment, Smart Information? Information und Auskunft über personenbezogene Datenverarbeitung im Internet der Dinge“, Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz Co-author
2016: Travel Expenses, DAAD Personal Application
2015: Travel Expenses, Uni Kassel Personal Application
2014: Travel Expenses, DAAD Personal Application

List of Publications


  • Groth, Karla/Laser, Stefan/Sarther, Isabelle/Schirrmacher, Jennifer (2022): Artenübergreifende Fürsorge? Die Corona-Pandemie und das Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis. Reihe: Human-Animal Studies. Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Laser, Stefan (2020): Hightech am Ende. Über das globale Recycling von Elektroschrott und die Entstehung neuer Werte. Reihe: Soziologie des Wertens und Bewertens. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Special Issues

  • Çelik, Leman/Laser, Stefan/Sørensen, Estrid (in preparation, 2025): Across the layers: How data infrastructures link knowledge practices and planetary matter. Science & Technology Studies.
  • Greeson, Emma/Stefan Laser/Olli Pyyhtinen (2020): Dis/assembling value. Lessons from waste valuation practices. Valuation Studies 7(2).
  • Schlitz, Nicolas/Stefan Laser (2019): Waste and globalized inequalities. Austrian Journal of Development Studies 35(2-3).

Edited Volumes

  • Fehrenbacher, Jens/Flugel, Kristin/Jürgens, Jane/Laser, Stefan/Lorenz, Marco/Pittroff, Fabian (in preparation, 2024): Vokabular der Virtualität. Ein situiertes Lexikon der Virtualität. Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Hogan, Mél/Stefan Laser/Edward Ongweso (in preparation, 2024): Predictions. Lancaster: Mattering Press.
  • Krenn, Karoline/Kropf, Jonathan/Ochs, Carsten (in preparation, 2024): Varianten digitaler Bewertungen. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS.
  • Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (2018): Digitale Bewertungspraktiken. Für eine Bewertungssoziologie des Digitalen. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Article with Double-blind Peer-Review

  • Laser, Stefan (under Review): Industrial policy and semiconductors from Taipei to Hanoi: The futures of chips. East Asian Science, Technology and Society.
  • Wagenknecht, Susann/Kocksch, Laura/Laser, Stefan/Kuehnen, Ann-Kristin (2024): Valuing data – attaching online data to stakes, selves, and other data. Valuation Studies 8(2).
  • Laser, Stefan (2022): Verausgabung auf „Strava“ und mit „Powermeter“: über technologisch vermittelte Selbstbewertung beim Radsport und eine energiesoziologische Perspektive. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie 47(4): 319-332.
  • Laser, Stefan (2022): Wert mit Abfall befragen. Eine soziomaterielle Perspektive auf die Erzeugung von Wert mit Einsichten aus ethnographischer Forschung zu Elektroschrott. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 51(2): 1-18.
  • Gertenbach, Lars/Lamla, Jörn/Laser, Stefan (2021): Eating Ourselves out of Industrial Excess? Degrowth, Multi-Species Conviviality and the Micro-Politics of Cultured Meat. Anthropological Theory 21 (3): 386–408.
  • Laser, Stefan/Sørensen, Estrid (2021): Re‐imagining river restoration. Temporalities, landscapes and values of the Emscher set in a post‐mining environment. Berliner Blätter 84(2): 65‐85.
  • Laser, Stefan/Alison Stowell (2020): Thinking like Apple’s recycling robots: Towards the activation of responsibility in a postenvironmentalist world. Ephemera 20(3): 163–194.
  • Laser, Stefan (2020): Sorting, shredding and smelting scrap: The production of value by deformation at a high‐tech recycler of electronic waste. Valuation Studies 7(2): 221‐255.
  • Laser, Stefan/Schlitz, Nicolas (2019): Facing frictions: Waste and globalized inequalities. Austrian Journal of Development Studies 35(2‐3): 5‐32.
  • Lamla, Jörn/Laser, Stefan (2016): Nachhaltiger Konsum im transnationalen Wertschöpfungskollektiv. Versammlungsdynamiken in der Politischen Ökonomie des Elektroschrotts. Berliner Journal of Sociology 26(2): 249‐271.
  • Laser, Stefan (2016): Why is it so hard to engage with practices of the informal sector? Experimental insights from the Indian e‐waste‐collective. Cultural Studies Review 22(1): 168‐195.

Article without Double-blind Peer Review and Book Chapters

  • Laser, Stefan/Pasek, Anne/Sørensen, Estrid/Hogan, Mél/Ojala, Mace/Fehrenbacher, Jens/Gregor Hepach, Maximilian/Çelik, Leman/Ravi Kumar, Koushik (2023): The environmental footprint of social media hosting: Tinkering with Mastodon. EASST Review 41(3).
  • Sørensen, Estrid/Laser, Stefan (2023): Towards artful sustainable Integration of IT infrastructures: A report from the construction of a university data centre. In: Jankowski, Patricia/Höfner, Anja/Hoffmann, Marja Lena/Rohde, Friederike/Rehak, Rainer/Graf, Johanna: Shaping digital transformation for a sustainable society: Contributions from Bits & Bäume, 87–90. Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin.
  • Laser, Stefan (2022): Verschwendung handhaben. Über Energie, Ressourceneinsatz und infrastrukturelles Erfahrungswissen in der Recycling- und Schienenindustrie. In: Barth, Thomas/Jaeger-Erben, Melanie/Jochum, Georg/Lorenz, Stephan (Hrsg.). Nachhaltig(e) Werte schaffen? Arbeit und Technik in der sozial-ökologischen Transformation, 156-179. Weinheim: Beltz/Juventa.
  • Laser, Stefan/Nicolas Schlitz (2021): Abfall in und jenseits von Güterketten: Ungleichheiten und unterschätzte Materialien. In: Fischer, Karin/Reiner, Christian/Staritz, Cornelia (Hrsg.), Globale Warenketten und ungleiche Entwicklung: Arbeit, Kapital, Konsum, Natur, 284–288. Wien: Mandelbaum Verlag.
  • Laser, Stefan (2021): Mit modularen Smartphones Müll vermeiden, und andere Missverständnisse. Über die Intervention in eine produktorientierte Bewegung und die methodologischen Früchte des Scheiterns. In: Herberg, Jeremias/Stämmler, Johannes (Hrsg.). Wissenschaft im Strukturwandel, 337–358. München: Oekom.
  • Laser, Stefan/Alison Stowell (2020): Apple’s recycling robot „Liam“ and the global recycling economy of e‐waste. What ‘The Guardian’ does, and what he misses out on. In: Johansson, Nils/Ek, Richard (Hrsg.). Perspectives on waste from the social sciences and humanities: Opening the bin, 265–279. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars.
  • Greeson, Emma/Laser, Stefan/Pyyhtinen, Olli (2020): Introduction: Dis/assembling value. Lessons from waste valuation practices. Valuation Studies 7(2): 151‐166.
  • Laser, Stefan (2018): Elektroschrott und die Abwertung von Reparaturpraktiken: Eine soziologische Erkundung des Recyclings von Elektronikgeräten in Indien und Deutschland. In: Stefan Krebs, Gabriele Schabacher, Heike Weber (Hrsg.). Kulturen des Reparierens, 85‐103. Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (2018): Eine Bewertungssoziologie des Digitalen. In: Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (Hrsg.). Digitale Bewertungspraktiken. Für eine Bewertungssoziologie des Digitalen, 1‐16. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (2018): Für eine reflexive Vergleichspraxis in der Bewertungssoziologie. Pinterest und WhatsApp als Beispiel. In: Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (Hrsg.). Digitale Bewertungspraktiken. Für eine Bewertungssoziologie des Digitalen, 19‐40. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Laser, Stefan/Ochs, Carsten (2018): Kontroversen bewertbar machen. Über die Methode des „Mapping of Controversies. In: Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan (Hrsg.). Digitale Bewertungspraktiken. Für eine Bewertungssoziologie des Digitalen, 97‐125. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Lamla, Jörn/Laser, Stefan (2018): Verbraucherschutz. In: Backhaus‐Maul H., Kunze M., Nährlich S. (Hrsg.). Gesellschaftliche Verantwortung von Unternehmen in Deutschland, 285‐299. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Laser, Stefan (2016): A phone worth keeping for the next 6 billion? Exploring the creation of a modular smartphone made by Google. In: Christiane Lewe, Tim Orthold, Nicolas Oxen (Hrsg). Müll: Interdisziplinäre Beiträge auf das Übrig-Gebliebene, 201‐226. Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Laser, Stefan/Lamla, Jörn (2015): Demokratischer Experimentalismus in transnationalen Wertschöpfungskollektiven. Über einige Herausforderungen des ethischen Konsums und den Fall Elektroschrott. In: Stephan Lessenich (Hrsg.). Routinen der Krise – Krise der Routinen. Verhandlungen des 37. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Trier 2014. Budrich.


  • Laser, Stefan (2024, im Erscheinen): Wir kümmern uns um jeden Dreck, jeden Dreck, Dreck muss weg. Rezension zu ‚Müll. Eine schmutzige Geschichte der Menschheit‘ von Roman Köster, Soziopolis.
  • Laser, Stefan (2021): Review‐Essay: Building bridges: About the reflection work and consequences of STS method practices in three current publications. Science and Technology Studies 34(2): 138–143.
  • Laser, Stefan (2019): Who carries the weight of digital technologies? What is its weight anyway? Review‐Essay of “Reassembling Rubbish: Worlding Electronic Waste”, by Josh Lepawsky (MIT Press), Austrian Journal of Development Studies 35(2‐3): 217‐227.

Reports and Working Paper

  • Ashall, Vanessa/Held, Tobias/Laser, Stefan/Mewes, Julie Sascia/Ojala, Mace/Schulte-Roemer, Nona/Smith, Robert/Tutton, Richard/Zambach, Sine (2022): Fieldnotes on FlyingLess Conferencing. EASST Review 41(2).
  • Laser, Stefan (2022): Obsoleszenz statt Transformation im Schienenverkehr: Über die Rolle der Bahn in der ökologischen -Verkehrswende, eine Grüne Welle auf der Schiene und Hoffnungen in eine Kupplungsrevolution. Working Paper Series Collaborative Research Center 1187 Media of Cooperation. Siegen.
  • Laser, Stefan/Rienow, Andreas/Dedring, Torben (2021): Ruhr Valley and Delhi. Megacity Air Pollution in Germany and India, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography.
  • Laser, Stefan/Chen,Xinyue/Lompe, Maria/Ozkula, Suay Melisa/Sørensen, Estrid/Teigeler, Lena /Vespa, Mariangela/Zhao, Tianshi. (2021): Greenwashing, in_authenticity and protest: Following the dynamics and relations of an ambiguous term on Twitter and the Web, Designers: Matteo Bettini, Valentina Pallacci, Fabiola Papini, Marìa Paula Vargas Triana, Digital Methods Initiative Wiki.
  • Lippert, Ingmar/Mewes, Julie S./Helm, Paula/Laser, Stefan/Sørensen, Estrid/Kocksch, Laura (2021): stsing: Doing STS In, Through and Beyond the German Academic System. SocArXiv.
  • Frisch, Thomas/Laser, Stefan/Matthäus, Sandra/Schendzielorz, Cornelia (2021): It’s worth the trouble. On valuation studies and climate change. economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter 22(1): 10‐14.
  • Bogusz, Tanja/Büchner, Stefanie/Dányi, Endre/Klein, Anja/Laser, Stefan/Schlünder, Martina/Sørensen, Estrid. Workshop report: #stsing – but how? An open workshop on possible organization forms of STS‐in‐Germany. Online-Blog stsing.

Entries in Dictionaries

  • Laser, Stefan (in preparation, 2024): Hypervisor. In: Fehrenbacher, Jens/Flugel, Kristin/Jürgens, Jane/Laser, Stefan/Lorenz, - Marco/Pittroff, Fabian (Hrsg., im Erscheinen, 2024): Vokabular der Virtualität. Ein situiertes Lexikon der Virtualität. Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Laser, Stefan (in preparation, 2024): Multiplizität. In: Fehrenbacher, Jens/Flugel, Kristin/Jürgens, Jane/Laser, Stefan/Lorenz, Marco/Pittroff, Fabian (Hrsg., im Erscheinen, 2024): Vokabular der Virtualität. Ein situiertes Lexikon der Virtualität. Bielefeld: transcript.

Selected Presentations

  1. Laser, Stefan: Chip Rush? Semiconductors in Vietnam as a Public Controversy, Workshop, Hanoi, 05.03.2024.
  2. Laser, Stefan: “Rescaling the Planet Through Chips”, paper presented at the Taiwan Science and Technology Studies Annual Conference, Taipei, Taiwan, 02.09.2023.
  3. Laser, Stefan/Schönbauer, Sarah: “Waste in Circulation”, panel organized, Aachen,, 15.03.2023.
  4. Bogusz, Tanja/Laser, Stefan: “Circulating Experimental Knowledge: On Co-laborative stsing in the Anthropocene”, panel organized, Aachen,, 17.03.2023.
  5. Çelik, Leman/Laser, Stefan/Sørensen, Estrid: “Across the Layers: Scientific Knowledge Production, Planetary Resources, and Data Centres”, lecture series, Ruhr-University Bochum, winter 2022/23.
  6. Kropf, Jonathan/Laser, Stefan/Ochs, Carsten: “Shaping platforms and reflecting value conflicts in socio-digital valuation infrastructures”, workshop organized, Kassel, 19./20.05.2022
  7. Laser, Stefan: “Climate on and off the railways. The railway in the ecological transformation”, paper presented during the workshop “Organisation and Valuation of Sustainability”, Hamburg, 5.11.2021
  8. Laser, Stefan: “Waste: On the question of value”, paper presented during the workshop “The ecological question”, organized by the section of Social Theory of the German Society of Sociology, Frankfurt am Main, 05.06.2020
  9. Laser, Stefan: “Cycling on and through digital platforms, or: What happens when data centres shape the mobility of athletes?“, paper presented, 5th Energy and Society conference, Trento, 11.02.2021.
  10. Kocksch, Laura/Laser, Stefan/Pittroff, Fabian/Roschka, Jakob/Sørensen, Estrid: “Inquiring the digital interstice through a data sprint: Ethnographic research where front and back end meet“, workshop organized, conference “New Materialist Informatics“, Kassel, 22.03.2021.
  11. Laser, Stefan: “Charging the bin: Bringing energy in“, paper presented, conference “Re‐Opening the Bin“, Gothenburg, Sweden, 11.06.2021.
  12. Kocksch, Laura/Laser, Stefan/Sørensen, Estrid: “Decentring datacentres: their politics, energy, waste and epistemics“, panel organized during the EASST/4S conference: Locating and Timing Matters, Prague, Czech Republic, 19.08.2020.
  13. Laser, Stefan: “Restoring a broken landscape? A ‘pioneering model’ from the Ruhr Valley, a former coal mining hub“, paper presented during the EASST/4S conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 20.08.2020.
  14. Laser, Stefan: “On high‐tech recycling. Some lessons from a global ethnography of electronic waste“, paper presented at the Centre for Science Studies, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, 27.03.2019.
  15. Laser, Stefan: “Waste and globalized inequalities. The case of e‐waste“, paper presented at the Sustainability Research Network, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, 26.03.2019.
  16. Laser, Stefan: “Modular smartphones. Assessing a recent hype“, paper presented, EASST conference, Lancaster, UK, 27.07.2018.
  17. Laser, Stefan/Stowell, Alison: “Apple’s recycling robot “Liam” and the global recycling economy of e‐waste“, with Alison Stowell, paper presented, conference “Opening the Bin“, Helsingborg, Lund, Sweden, 29.04.2017.
  18. Laser, Stefan: “Processing electronic waste, re‐evaluating limits. Ethnographic insights from a high‐tech recycling company“, paper presented during the 4S/EASST conference “Science and technology by other means“, Barcelona, Spain, 01.09.2016.
  19. Laser, Stefan: “Evaluating electronic waste on a daily basis. Ethnographic insights from a large‐scale waste recycler and processor“, paper presented, conference “Ethnography and qualitative research“, Bergamo, 09.06.2016.
  20. Laser, Stefan: “Who Benefits from Sustainability? Analysing the Indian Politics of Electronic Waste in a Transnational Setting“, paper presented, ASNEL/GNEL and GASt conference “Postcolonial Justice“, Potsdam and Berlin, 30.05.2014.