Dr. Susanne Koch

Researcher and lecturer

Room 1.2. 1.18 ("green finger" / 1. floor)

Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2
85354 Freising / Weihenstephan

Phone: +49 8161 71 - 4627
Fax: +49 8161 71 - 4623

E-Mail:  susanne.koch@tum.de

Research focus

Research fields

  • Sociology of science / Science and Technology Studies (STS) 
  • Environmental sociology

Research topics

  • Gender- and geography-related inequalities and their epistemic effects in forest science
  • Knowledge diversity in the context of societal transformation and sustainable development 

Research networks




Professional experience

Since 2020 Affiliate of the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP), University of Bergen and International Science Council
Since 2017 Research associate of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University
Since 2016 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
2004–2009 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




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


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 (published online 19 June 2020). https://doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2020.1780094

2020 "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

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). URL: https://www.4sonline.org/blog/post/of_hopes_and_struggles_how_young_african_scientists_experience_working_conditions_in_academia_a_review_of_the_next_generation_of_scientists_in_africa

2018 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
2017 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
2016 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.
2016 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

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


  • International Environmental Policy
  • Aktuelle Fragen der internationalen Wald- und Umweltpolitik
  • Qualitative social science methodology for BA/MA thesis writing students