“I have to admit that I did not really follow a linear path towards the master’s programme in Science – Technology – Society. As I am the child of parents who had not studied themselves, it was helpful that I could try out different degree programmes without having to go through a challenging entrance exam procedure.
A year before having obtained my secondary-school leaving certificate, I had already signed the training contract for a dual bachelor’s programme in Business Informatics at a university of applied sciences. It seemed that my path was clear. At that time, earning money while studying was the only possibility for me to even think about studying. However, I soon realised that the classical topics of business informatics are not those that I want to deal with for the rest of my life. Since questions relating to society were also at the forefront of my mind at that time, I decided to study another bachelor’s programme – against the advice of my friends and family: Sociology at the University of Vienna.
The master’s programme that I am enrolled in now – Science – Technology – Society – combines these two bachelor’s programmes and additionally intersects with the fields of practice: Among others, I deal with the basics of human perception and the influence of social values on the development of technologies. The contents of the degree programme are not at all boringly theoretical only, but I can also use them in practice in everyday life to look at situations from a different perspective and to challenge them. For example, the way I use the Internet has changed dramatically: I do no longer use allegedly convenient services such as Google, but open and transparent ones like Startpage. In addition, due to the small number of students in the courses at the Department, it is possible to regularly discuss current global and local incidents with fellow students and teachers. (In the Reflections blog, master’s students regularly write about course contents and current topics.)
Last year, I was able to use and implement what I have learnt in various social-science case studies. Based on this, I want to deepen my knowledge when I have obtained my master’s degree and, in the course of a doctoral programme, continue to investigate in a critical way the relationship between information technologies and societies.” – Timo Bühler
Timo is studying Science – Technology – Society at the University of Vienna.