Prof. Dr. Martin Emmer (FU Berlin) is Founding Director and Principal Investigator (PI) at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and, since 2011, Professor of Communication Science at the FU Berlin, where he heads the Institute’s research unit on the use of media.
In 2004, he received his doctorate in communication science from the TU Ilmenau for his thesis titled “Political Mobilization through the Internet?“ Martin Emmer has been Managing Director of the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies (IfPuK) at the FU Berlin since 2017 and Principal Investigator of the Einstein Center Digital Future since 2016. His research focuses on political communication, the use of digital media, and methods of empirical communication research.
Annett Heft, Dr. Phil., is head of the research group Digitalization and the Transnational Public Sphere and senior researcher at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her main fields of research are the comparative study of political communication and mobilisation in Europe with a focus on digital public spheres, right-wing communication infrastructures, transnational communication as well as quantitative methods and computational social science. Recent projects focus on right-wing digital news infrastructures in Western democracies, networked publics, and digital communication networks of pro- and anti-EU parties.
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann is a political scientist and heads the group “Politics of Digitalization” at the WZB. She is Founding Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and Professor of Internet Policy at the FU Berlin. As Principal Investigator at the Weizenbaum Institute, she heads two research groups. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Digital Society at the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. From 2010 to 2013, she was an expert in the Enquete Commission Internet and Digital Society of the German Bundestag.
At the international level, she participated in the UN World Summit on the Information Society and the Internet Governance Forum. Her current research focuses on digitalisation and democracy as well as the emergence of internet policy in Germany. Her further research scrutinizes the regulation of the internet at the international level and “big data” as an object of analysis and as a quantifying form of regulation.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Klinger is Professor for Media and Communication Science at FU Berlin, with a special focus on digital communication and gender aspects. Since 2018, Ulrike is head of the research group „News, Campaigns and the Rationality of Public Discourse“ at the Weizenbaum Institute. Her research focuses on political communication, the transformation of digital public spheres, local communication and digital technologies such as algorithms or social bots. Ulrike Klinger completed her doctorate in Political Science at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main in 2010. From 2009 to 2018 she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Communication Science and Media Research at the University of Zurich, a visiting researcher at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society HIIG in Berlin (2013) and the Center for Information Technology and Society CITS at the University of California in Santa Barbara (2017), and visiting professor for digital communication at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen (WS 2016/2017).
Prof. Dr. Curd Knüpfer is an assistant professor of political science with a focus on political communication and the US media system, working at the Freie Universität Berlin. Previously, he co-headed research group 15 (Digitalization and the Transnational Public Sphere) at the Weizenbaum Institute, where he continues to be an associated researcher. Before that, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. His research focusses lies on the dynamics of frame competition as well as right-wing politics and (digital) media.
Prof. Dr. Barbara Pfetsch is Professor for Media and Communication Science at the FU Berlin and head of the Division of Communication Theory and Media Effects Research. Her research and publications focus on international comparative studies of political communications and media, on the contents and structures of online issue networks and debates on the internet, on digital communication spaces and on the transformation of the public sphere due to digital communications. Barbara Pfetsch holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Mannheim and a habilitation from the FU Berlin.
She was previously a senior researcher at the WZB and in 2001 accepted a professorship at the University of Hohenheim. Fellowships and research grants took her to Hebrew University Jerusalem (Israel), the Center for Advanced Studies (CASBS) at Stanford University, the Shorenstein Center and the Minda de Gunzburg Center at Harvard University, and Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (all in the USA).
Pablo Porten-Cheé is head of the Research Group “Digital Citizenship” at the Weizenbaum Institute and postdoc at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He received his doctoral degree in Communication Science from the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Pablo Porten-Cheé previously worked at the professorships for political communication at the Ilmenau University of Technology, the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, and the University of Zürich. He is interested in questions within political communication research and actually studies how the shape and the factors of political participation change under the conditions of digitalization. He has published several journal articles on political media effects of online content (spiral of silence processes, fragmentation, and the role of popularity cues, e.g., Facebook-Likes).
Dr. Thorsten Thiel is a political scientist. Before joining the Weizenbaum Institute he was the coordinator of the Leibniz Research Network “Crises in a Globalised World” (2013-2017) und Postdoc at the Frankfurt cluster of excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” (2010-2013). In the winter semester of 2015/2016, he held the Chair of Political Theory and History of Ideas at the University of Trier. He received his doctorate as part of the research training group “Constitution Beyond the State” (2006-2010) with a book on democratic discourses in the European Union.
Thorsten Thiel was a member of the advisory board from 2012-2016 and later of the board of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW); he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Internet Governance Forum (Germany); with Christian Volk he publishes the series “Internationale Politische Theorie” (International Political Theory; Nomos Verlag) and is founder and co-editor of Theorieblog.
Dr. Lena Ulbricht is a political scientist and earned her doctorate at the HU Berlin with a monograph on political learning in German federalism. Her habilitation project deals with the use of artificial intelligence for state regulation and its democratic implications. Her background is in political science; she gained her Ph.D. in political science from the Humboldt University Berlin with a monography about education policy in German federalism.
Her research interests are regulation and governance, public policy, comparative research, big data and artificial intelligence, data protection, critical security studies, sociology of science, education research and social policy research. Lena Ulbricht graduated with a degree in political science from the Free University of Berlin and a degree in urban studies from Sciences Po Paris.