Algorithmed Public Spheres


Call for Fellows (2017/2018)

The Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research in Hamburg, Germany, is a publicly funded research institute that focuses on the study of mediated public communication. Its research encompasses both broadcast and digital communication from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.

The postdoctoral research network Algorithmed Public Spheres was established to study the relevance of algorithms for the constitution of the public sphere. We emphasize in particular the importance of algorithms for filtering, ranking and selecting media content and for structuring digital communication. In contrast to the use of data mining in areas such as healthcare, credit scoring and general business analytics, where such techniques have a long tradition, the impact of algorithms on the public sphere poses novel challenges. How are communication, media, and public discourse impacted by transferring the dominant logics of consumption from other industries to news, information, and political deliberation, implemented in social media platforms, search engines, and on news websites? Research in this area could include:

  • Measurement of algorithmic bias and discrimination
  • Feedback effects in recommender systems
  • Assessment of potential filter bubbles
  • Algorithms in news production, distribution and consumption processes
  • User interaction with and rationalization of algorithms

We invite applications for international postdoctoral research fellows from fields including, but not restricted to, computer and information science, communication and media studies, law, sociology and philosophy, who will conduct innovative research on the social and cultural impact of algorithms during stays of 3-12 months in Hamburg in the academic year 2017/2018. We particularly welcome cross-cutting research proposals that integrate technical and social perspectives and result in concrete outcomes, for example in the form of peer-reviewed research articles or proposals for externally funded projects.

Up to two funded fellowships will be awarded as result of this call. The fellowships cover airfare and a contribution to the accommodation and subsistence in Hamburg. In specific cases, we may offer a temporary employment contract instead of a scholarship.

To apply, please send a cover letter (one page), a project proposal (up to three pages) and your CV (up to four pages), including a list of your most relevant publications (maximum of five), to Cornelius Puschmann ( Please note that applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Application deadline: April 1, 2017

Announcement of 2017/2018 Fellows: May 1, 2017