Ricky Wichum

Visiting Scholar

Lecturer (Oberassistent), Chair of History of Technology, ETH Zurich

CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, CSTMS
Affiliation period: September 2023 - December 2023
Degrees Doctor in Sociology :: University of Freiburg (2015)

Research Areas

History of Technology
Social Theory
Sociology of (In-)Security

Ricky Wichum received his PhD from the University of Freiburg (2015) and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS) in Lüneburg before joining ETH Zurich. As a sociologist who teaches the History of Technology, he is particularly interested in how government organizations use digital technologies. In his first book "Biometrie. Zur Soziologie der Identifikation" (2017) Ricky examines biometric identification technologies as a promise to solve control problems of liberal societies. The monograph "Simulation for All. Supercomputing in Stuttgart" (2021) (with David Gugerli) analyzes how supercomputing has evolved through continuous reconfiguration of computing, science, industry, and politics.

Ricky Wichum has published in the field of security research, e.g. about contemporary diagnoses of postmodern insecurities or on Michel Foucault's security dispositif. In the History of Computing an essay on the emergence of digital federalism (with David Gugerli) has recently been published.

Ricky was a Junior Fellow at MECS (2013/14) and received a grant for finishing his doctoral thesis by the FAZIT Stiftung (June 2014-Februrary 2015). In January 2017 he was an academic guest at the Chair of History of Technology, ETH Zurich. From November 2017 - December 2020 Ricky was a research associate at the Collegium Helveticum (fellow period on "Digital Socieites"). In April 2022 he was an academic guest at the Department for Communication, University of Copenhagen.

last updated: October 30th, 2023