Responsible Innovation

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology and Society with a special focus on diversity, politics, and discourses

Academic Responsibility

Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Carmen Leicht-Scholten

Teaching and Research Area Gender and Diversity in Engineering Sciences
Faculty of Civil Engineering

Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Torsten H. Voigt

Teaching and Research Area Technology & Diversity
Institute of Sociology

Contact Person





Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m. 




„Technology shapes society and society shapes technology” (Christine Wächter).

Technical developments are essentially changing the way we live and work, so that the importance of the interface between technology and society is becoming increasingly relevant. The increasing global transfer of technology requires a critical examination of the resulting consequences for people and the environment. 

Diversity, i.e., ethnicity, gender/sex, age, disability, and other categories of human difference play a critical role in the design and application of technology. At the same time, technological advances have a profound impact on our understanding, material expression, and discursive understanding of human diversity. In this seminar, we illuminate the negotiation process, discourses, and politics related to technology and diversity. We take a close look at the many meanings of diversity and analyze their interactions with technology. This course highlights the crucial contribution that diversity can make to innovation in technology and society, and shows that in order to deal with human diversity in an appropriate and enlightened way, it is necessary to move beyond mere symbolic politics in order to shape technological progress responsibly.

Learning Outcomes

Students become familiar with various issues at the intersection of technology and society. On this basis, they are able to evaluate related issues as well as implications of these for their respective disciplines. Students will gain an understanding of the dimensions of diversity (e.g., ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) and will be able to analyze and critically reflect on the multiple interactions of human diversity, technology, and society and related discourses. They will be able to evaluate and discuss possible contributions of higher education to societal diversity.



13. Juli 2020

Acatech: Perspektiven auf Technik, Gesellschaft und Nachhaltigkeit

Prof. Dr. Martina Schraudner

acatech, Berlin


Introductory event

Prof. Carmen Leicht-Scholten und Prof. Torsten Voigt

LuF Gender and Diversity in Engineering and Institute of Sociology, RWTH Aachen University


Gender-equitable language use – “language terrorism” or intended language change?

Prof. Dr. Thomas Niehr

Institute for Linguistics and Communication Studies, RWTH Aachen University


How Do Genetic Ancestry Tests Influence Racial and Ethnic Identity?

Wendy D. Roth, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology, Penn Arts & Sciences, Pennsylvania


The Meaning of Diversity and the Limits of Racial Equity in American Biomedicine

Catherine Lee, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology, Rutgers University


The Disorder of Gender – Current Discourses

Prof. Dr. Paula Villa

Soziologie und Gender Studies, LMU


Faire Algorithmen

Prof. Claudia Wagner

Chair for Applied Computational Social Sciences, RWTH


Final event

Prof. Carmen Leicht-Scholten und Prof. Torsten Voigt
LuF Gender and Diversity in Engineering and Institute of Sociology, RWTH Aachen University

Procedure/Working method​

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation.


Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)
Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)

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