Interview with Benedict
Interviewed by Luuk Blum, ETHOS Lab Assistant and active with ITU’s green community RethinkIT
One nice similarity between Benedict and the lab that emerged after the interview was that he’s named his devices after female scientists; Laptop: Lise Meitner, Tablet: Ada Lovelace, Phone: Grace Hopper
Why did you decide to come to Copenhagen from Munich?
I realized my masters were about to finish and after thinking about what I wanted to do I realized I’d like to have some time abroad; Breaking with my everyday routines by going somewhere else. I knew ITU already since I’d research the DIM master before and people in the lab I was working for specifically recommended ETHOS Lab
What projects are you interested in working on in ETHOS Lab?
I really appreciate the possibility to bring my own project at the lab with support and resources that can be used. Therefore, I’ll be mostly working on my thesis. However, there are so many interesting projects going on such as ADA Lovelace day, if I have the capacity I’d definitely like to get more involved in the coming weeks.
How do you think your work fits in with the approaches towards facilitating a richer conversation about the role of technology in society that we try to achieve here in ETHOS Lab.
I understand ETHOS as being about using technologies and digital methods in social sciences and digital research to make sense of the world and reality (if that even exists). In my thesis, I work with hackathons, which is also a place where people try to come up with technological solutions for society (read more about his thesis here). People here are also inspired by themes such as feminist theory, equality, and inclusion. Personally, I’m looking at why people choose technology instead of other solutions to deal with social problems. This inquiry is one of the things I share with the lab.
What are you reading these days, and where do you hope that your work will go in the future?
Introduction to science and technology studies; my program is STSish but I’ve never had an overview of the different directions and landscapes within STS, so I want to position myself better in that world. I’m not sure my future lies in academia. I really don’t like the precarious working conditions in German academia, it’s refreshing that people around ETHOS Lab share those same concerns. After I’m done I’d really like to do things that are visible, e.g. working for municipalities. I really don’t want to work for a company; my experience is that the more effort I put in the more my work benefits the shareholders; it’s about making a profit and I don’t want to support that. Following the saying in german; Du arbeitest nicht für jeden – dann arbeite doch für alle. You don’t work for everyone – then work for everyone. For the next your I could imagine myself working part-time for the municipality, and part-time on research to become an expert on a certain topic.
Finally, Where can we follow your work?
Twitter but is mostly German rands about politics @Benedictlng
Instagram: @benedictlang (See things that are worth sharing with others)