Stefan Schäfer studied political science, philosophy and history at the University of Tübingen and Cornell University and went on to complete a PhD at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS) at the Freie Universität Berlin. He was a guest researcher at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) from 2009 to 2012. He came to the IASS as a project scientist in 2012 and subsequently took on the roles of academic officer and, most recently, programme leader and research group leader. He was a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation's Global Governance Futures programme in 2014/2015 and an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation and Society in 2017, with which he continues to be affiliated as Associate Fellow. Currently, he is a Visiting Fellow in the Science, Technology and Society Program at Harvard University.
Stefan's research examines the role of science and technology in contemporary politics, with a focus on democracy and sustainability. He publishes articles in peer-reviewed journals and commentaries in newspapers, and contributed to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. He is the principal investigator of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), lead author of the final report of an FP7 project that brought together a consortium of 14 research institutes from five European countries, and chair of the steering committee of the Climate Engineering Conferences series [CEC] (www.ce-conference.org). He spent research stays at University College London (2013) and Harvard University (2016 and 2016).
At the IASS, Stefan leads the project "Climate Engineering in Science, Society and Politics", as well as the DFG-funded project "Contextualising Climate Engineering and Mitigation: Illusion, Complement, or Substitute?