Dr. Susanne Koch



Professional experience

Currently Visiting scholar of the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, Technical University of Munich; Guest researcher of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University
Since 2021 Research Fellow at CREST and the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in STI Policy, Stellenbosch University
Since 2020 Affiliate of the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP), University of Bergen and International Science Council
2017–2019 Research associate of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University
2016–2021 Research assistant and lecturer at the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, Technical University of Munich
2013–2015 Research fellow at the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
2011–2012 Research fellow at the Institute of Science and Technology Studies, Bielefeld University
2009–2010 Freelance journalist at Deutsche Welle, DW-TV, Berlin

Journalistic internships, e.g. at Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Bayerischer Rundfunk (both Munich) and Choice 102.3 FM (Accra/Ghana)



2015 PhD at Bielefeld University 
2011–2015 PhD student and member of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Bielefeld University
2005–2010 Journalism and Social Science studies (diploma) at the Technical University of Dortmund

Journalism Traineeship at Deutsche Welle, Bonn and Berlin


Publications and conference contributions


2021 Conferences as constitutive spaces of scientific fields. Blog post on Conference Inference: Blogging the World of Conferences. 26. July 2021. 

with Elena Matviichuk: Patterns of inequality in global forest science conferences: An analysis of actors involved in IUFRO World Congresses with a focus on gender and geography. Forest Policy and Economics (129), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102510


Contextualising epistemic injustice in aid: On colliding interests, colonialism and counter-movements. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (2), pp. 14-21. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-5FQ.


Epistemische Ungleichheit unter „Entwicklungsexpert*innen“: eine empirische Analyse unter Einbeziehung philosophischer, dekolonialer und postkolonialer Perspektiven. polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren (44).


Responsible research, inequality in science and epistemic injustice: an attempt to open up thinking about inclusiveness in the context of RI/RRI. Journal of Responsible Innovation 7 (3), pp. 672-679. https://doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2020.1780094


"The local consultant will not be credible": How epistemic injustice is experienced and practised in development aid. Social Epistemology - A Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Policy 34 (5), pp. 478-489. https://doi.org/10.1080/02691728.2020.1737749


On (not) feeling virtual vibes: An academic mother's EASST/4S online conference experience. EASST Review 39 (2). 


Of Hopes and Struggles: How Young African Scientists Experience Working Conditions in Academia (A Review of The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa). Backchannels (18.05.2020). 


Identifying enabling factors of science-policy interaction in a developing country context: A case study of South Africa's environment sector. Forest Policy and Economics (91), pp. 36-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2017.07.007


International influence on forest governance in Tanzania: Analysing the role of aid experts in the REDD+ process. Forest Policy and Economics (83), pp. 181-190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2016.09.018


with Jens Friis Lund and Mathew Bukhi Mabele: Norway's Tanzania REDD+ adventure. Another forestry experiment gone awry. Development Today 12-13, pp. 14–15.


with Peter Weingart: The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer: The Impact of Foreign Aid Experts on Policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania. Cape Town: African Minds.


"The Impact of Foreign Experts on Policymaking in Young Democracies – A Comparative Analysis of South Africa and Tanzania" - Dissertation. Universität Bielefeld, 2015.


with A. Leichner: "Virtuelle Vergemeinschaftung Jugendlicher. Ein Literaturbericht zur Szenenforschung der Projektgruppe 'Jugendszenen im Internet' " - In: Diskurs Kindheits- und Jugendforschung, 4 (2009), pp. 513–524

Conference contributions and invited talks


Tackling inequalities on stage and backstage of science conferences. Key note talk at the ISC workshop: Inclusive and accessible science communication, International Science Council (virtual)

2021 Wald in der Dauerkrise und die Rolle der Forstwissenschaften in deren (Nicht-) Bewältigung. Congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS) and the Austrian Association for Sociology,  (ÖGS), Universität Wien (virtual)
2021 (Wie) lassen sich virtuelle Konferenzen beobachten? Einblicke und Fragen aus einer explorativen ethnografischen Studie zu (Be-)Wertungspraktiken in der Waldforschung. Workshop Digitale qualitative Forschung – grundsätzliche Ansätze und aktuelle Herausforderungen unter Pandemie-Bedingungen. LMU (virtual)
2021 with E. Matviichuk: Gender- and geography-related inequalities in global forest science conferences: an actor-centred analysis of IUFRO World Congresses. International Forest Policy Meeting 3, Freiburg University (virtual)
2020 Inequality in Science as Subject of Scholarly Debate: A Multi-disciplinary Research Synthesis. EASST/4S joint conference 'Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in an Emerging World', virPrague 
2019 The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a lever for transforming the social and epistemic fabrics of science? Workshop "The Eco-Social Paradigm, the SDGs and Universities", University of Pretoria, Pretoria
2019 (How) does 'responsible research' relate to 'epistemic justice'? An attempt to open up thinking about inclusiveness in science by linking disconnected discourses. Summer School 'Responsible Innovation Cultures', Munich Center for Technology in Society, Munich
2019 The perpetuation of epistemic inequality by development cooperation. National SDG Conference 2019, University of Bergen, Bergen
2017 "The calamitous coupling of science and politics" - Alumni Symposium:  Science Policy Interfaces, Research Academy Leipzig, Leipzig University, Leipzig
2016 "Integrating science into environmental policymaking: insights from South Africa" - IUFRO International and Multi-disciplinary Scientific Conference: Forest-related policy and governance: Analyses in the environmental social sciences, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor
2016 "Preventing 'Partnership', Perpetuating Dependence: The Detrimental Effects of Knowledge Hierarchies on International Cooperation" - DSA 2016 Conference: Politics in Development, University of Oxford, Oxford
2016 "External Experts' Influence on Forest Governance in Tanzania" - 1st International Forest Policy Meeting, Universität Göttingen, Hann. Münden
2014 "Undermining Democracy? The Impact of Expert Advice on Policy Processes and Governance in Aid Receiving Countries" - 12th Development Dialogue 2014: Rethinking Democracy, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Den Haag
2014 "Shaping the Fabrics of the State: The Impact of External Experts on Policy Processes and Governance in Young African Democracies" - ASAUK (African Studies Association of the UK) Conference 2014, University of Sussex, Brighton
2013 "The Impact of Foreign Experts on Developing Democracies" - Workshop, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch