Laura Kocksch


Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum
GD 1/179 / Postfach 80
+49 (0)234 32 27949

Office hours: by arrangement.

I am interested in matters of digital technology. Matter is both material (grids, energy, devices, servers, cables, heat, etc.) and an ethico-political concern (non/access, public/private, secure/insecure, etc.).

In my dissertation I conducted an ethnographic research of cybersecurity practices in two large German critical infrastructures. Cybersecurity is a matter of technology as it combines material-semiotic relations and ethico-political commitments and morality. I found cybersecurity to require a shift in thinking about human-technology relations from assuming inherent difference, heterogeneous networks, or constant adaptation, towards being characterised by precarity and fragility. The thesis then unfolds modes of dealing with these fragile relations:  as a matter of care and preparedness rather than control and prevention. And finally the thesis points to some terms to think along the lines of fragility in cybersecurity research and STS/social anthropology. The thesis is work-in-progress.

In my current project "Data Sprints for Public Stakeholder Engagement" at the Centre for Advanced Internet Studies, I put together three data sprints with domain experts from science, activism, administration, management and education in order to map the environmental and epistemic effects of data-driven science. The sprints encounter data both as their object of inquiry and a means by which to establish relations to affected publics. Data are matters, they are at stake and monitor, manage and govern what is at stake.  

The sprints focus on these questions:
How to design scientific data practices more environmental friendly?
What is open data and how does it affect various publics?
How to develop sustainable data cataloguing for an emerging resarch centre?

Research Areas

Science & Technology Studies • Technoscience • Data • Security • Privacy


November 2016 - April 2020:
PhD Program/ NRW Fortschrittskolleg "SecHuman" – Security for people in cyberspace. Title of dissertation: “Big data - IT security in practice”

April 2016:
Master of arts cultural anthropology/ European ethnology and computer science and sociology, title of thesis: “Computer scientists start counting at 0.” How epistemic cultures come together. Four cooperation projects.

August 2012:
Bachelor of arts cultural anthropology/ European ethnology and political science, title of thesis: “Facebook-localism. New concepts of place through software based presence in social network sites (SNS).”


Nieves Delgado, A. & Kocksch, L. (forthcoming). Privacy in social media: A perspective from the logic of care. In Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.

Kocksch, Laura. "Knowing IT-Security Emergencies". Wie forschen mit den »Science and Technology Studies«?, edited by Astrid Wiedmann, Katherin Wagenknecht, Philipp Goll and Andreas Wagenknecht, Bielefeld: transcript-Verlag, 2020, pp. 175-210.

Laura Kocksch, Andreas Poller. 2019. The Practice Turn in IT Security - An Interdisciplinary Approach. In David, Klaus, Geihs, Kurt, Lange, Martin & Stumme, Gerd (Hrsg.), INFORMATIK 2019: 50 Jahre Gesellschaft für Informatik – Informatik für Gesellschaft. Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.. (S. 97-98).
Laura Kocksch, Matthias Korn, Andreas Poller, and Susann Wagenknecht. 2018. Caring for IT Security: Accountabilities, Moralities, and Oscillations in IT Security Practices. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 2, CSCW, Article 92 (November 2018), 20 pages. DOI:

Poller, Andreas, Laura Kocksch, Sven Türpe, Felix Anand Epp, and Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda. "Can Security Become a Routine?: A Study of Organizational Change in an Agile Software Development Group." In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, pp. 2489-2503. ACM, 2017.

Poller, Andreas, Laura Kocksch. “Breaking New Ground for Researching Secure Software Development with Social Theory”. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, Workshop Theory Transfer Social Theory in CSCW.

Poller, Andreas, Laura Kocksch, Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda, and Felix Anand Epp. "First-time Security Audits as a Turning Point?: Challenges for Security Practices in an Industry Software Development Team." In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1288-1294. ACM, 2016

Türpe, Sven, Laura Kocksch, and Andreas Poller. "Penetration Tests a Turning Point in Security Practices? Organizational Challenges and Implications in a Software Development Team." In Twelfth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2016). USENIX Association, 2016.

Poller, Andreas, Petra Ilyes, Andreas Kramm, and Laura Kocksch. "Investigating OSN users' privacy strategies with in-situ observation." In Proceedings of the companion publication of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing, pp. 217-220. ACM, 2014.