Astrid Mager is a scholar in Science and Technology Studies with a particular interest in Internet technologies and socio-political developments. Her research is concerned with the Internet and society, search engine policies, algorithms and aspects of privacy, critical theory, as well as digital methods against the background of science and technology studies and technology assessment.
Born in 1977 and raised in Linz, she studied sociology and communication sciences at the University of Vienna. She ended her studies in 2002 with a master's thesis dealing with organ transplantation in Austrian media debates (Mag.rer.soc.oec.). From 2002-2003 she studied at the Université Paris Diderot (Erasmus grant). She also attended a number of workshops on Internet research and network analysis by the Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam (Prof. Dr. Richard Rogers). She finished her PhD thesis on the Internet as a a source of health information in 2010 at the Department of Science Studies, University of Vienna, supervised by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt (Dr. phil.).
From 2004-2009 Astrid Mager worked as a research collaborator at the Department of Social Studies of Science, mainly on the project "Virtually Informed. The Internet in the medical field" (FWF). She was also a lecturer at the Department of Social Studies of Science and Nursing Sciences from 2005 to 2010. From 2010 to 2012 she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the HUMlab, Umeå University, in Sweden and investigated search engines and algorithmic ideologies.
Since 2012 she works as a postdoctoral researcher at the ITA, leading the project on "Glocal Search". Search technology at the intersection of global capitalism and local socio-political cultures" (OeNB) at first. Since November 2016 she is leader of the FWF project "Algorithmic imaginaries. Visions and values in the shaping of search engines" (Elise Richter fellowship). She teaches at the Department of Social Studies of Science as an external lecturer and is co-editor of the open-access journal "Momentum Quaterly - Journal for social progress".
In 2018 Mager was elected in the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Her list of publications includes a number of articles in international journals – such as Social Studies of Science; New Media & Society; Policy & Internet; Information, Communication & Society – dealing with the Internet and medicine, and, more recently, search engines in contemporary capitalism.