Stefan Schäfer

Dr. Stefan Schäfer

Research Group Leader

Stefan Schäfer is a research group leader at the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam and a fellow at Harvard University and the University of Oxford. His research draws on approaches from science and technology studies to examine the political, ethical, and epistemological dimensions of new planetary sciences and technologies. He teaches at Humboldt University Berlin, where he is affiliated with the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems.

After studying political science, philosophy, and history at the University of Tübingen and Cornell University, Stefan received his PhD in international relations from Freie Universität Berlin. He was a guest researcher at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) from 2009-2012, a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation in 2014-2015, an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation and Society in 2017, a Visiting Fellow in Harvard University's Program on Science, Technology and Society in 2018, and a Guest Professor in the University of Vienna's Department of Science and Technology Studies in 2020. His work has been published widely in highly ranked peer reviewed journals as well as in numerous edited volumes and as working papers, commentaries, and assessment reports. Stefan is a contributing author to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report and was appointed Special Adviser to the European Commissioner for Transport in 2018-19. In addition to his work with the research group at RIFS, he is a founding member of research-based art collective LiCo, with which he co-produces films, essays, and installations that examine past and future choreographies of mental and environmental life.