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Research for the networked Society

Research at the Weizenbaum Institute aims to strengthen self-determination and sustainability in dealing with digital technology. To this end, interdisciplinary basic research, value-based exploration of concrete solutions, and dialogue with politics, business, and civil society are combined.

Research at the Weizenbaum Institute

We conduct multifaceted research into the conditions, phenomena and consequences of digitalization. Our working principles are interdisciplinarity, basic orientation, openness, participation and a long-term perspective.

Our research topics, methods and formats are continuously reviewed and further developed in dialog with social stakeholders. In this way, we play a pioneering role in the development of digitalization research.

We also analyse, test and promote open science and the digitalization of science. We consider dialog and knowledge transfer in politics, business and civil society to be one of our key tasks. 

The current research program

In order to investigate the relevant challenges and opportunities of digital change for individuals and societies in an interdisciplinary, fundamental and value-based manner, research is organized into four interdisciplinary research foci:

  • Digital technologies in society: between opportunities for participation and new inequalities
  • Digital markets and public spheres on platforms: between the common good and economic imperatives
  • Organization of knowledge: between openness and exclusivity
  • Digital infrastructures in democracy: between security and freedom

Each focus area analyzes a social tension that forms the common reference for the work in each of the four research groups assigned to a focus area. The research groups are flanked and supported by the new Weizenbaum Digital Science Center, which provides research, networking, orientation and infrastructure services for interdisciplinary digitalization research and strengthens the coherence of research.

  • Interdisciplinary Digitalization Research Cartography

    The WI researches digitization research itself. This comprehensive and carefully curated map provides orientation on interdisciplinary digitization research in German-speaking countries.

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  • Fellowships

    With our fellowship programs, we enable national and international scientists of all career levels to realize joint research projects and establish long-term collaborations. Find out more and apply for a research stay at the WI.

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  • Open Access Publication Fund

    The WI systematically promotes open access publications in order to make scientific findings available in an open and accessible manner and to support scientific exchange. A central funding instrument for this is the Open Access Publication Fund.

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Research Projects

In addition to the interdisciplinary work in the key research areas, various topic-related and problem-oriented research and transfer projects are implemented at the WI.

See current and completed projects


In order to develop a holistic understanding of the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation, we integrate the perspectives, approaches and possible solutions from computer science, social sciences, law and ethics, as well as computer science and design research.

Meet our Researchers

Principal Investigators

The Principal Investigators ensure the coherence and further development of the research program as well as the scientific excellence and thematic range of research at the Institute.

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The Research Program of the Set-up Phase

In the setup-up phase (09/2017 - 09/2022), research was conducted in 21 interdisciplinary research groups on the interrelationship between digitalization and society. These were assigned to four overarching research areas and were supplemented by three accompanying cross-sectional formats.

Learn more about our Research in the Setup Phase