Katharina Paul

University of Vienna

Website https://katharinatpaul.at
Project Name KNOW-VACC
Field of research policy analysis, medical sociology, STS
Keywords vaccination | policy | values | data

Studying values in governance: vaccination as a paradigmatic case


What is my research about?

My research addresses seemingly mundane practices of data collection and use in vaccination governance. The ways in which governance actors produce and mobilize data about vaccination – such as coverage rates – carry normative implications. This means that technical design is inseperable from the political system in which it emerrges. My research considers the data infrastructures built to collect this data (such as the recent Austrian electronic vaccination record) and the normative implications these have for vaccination governance.

What motivates me?

I am driven by basic curiosity about what how policy emerge, how they are contested, what effects they have (or not), and what kind of political implications they have. Vaccination is a paradigmatic example and is clearly an extremely topical area of research. (But my interest in it predates the COVID19 pandemic!) In essence, I am keen to study practices that seem mundane to many but are actually very political. I enjoy trying out new methods and collaborations – while academia can be frustrating, it is never boring!