Honorary Professor in History of Technology at Technische Universität Berlin, and Associate Professor at the Institute of Sinology, Freie Universität, Berlin. She received her doctorate and habilitation from the University of Würzburg and has worked and studied at Zhejiang University, Peking University, National Tsing Hua University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Manchester, among others. She was previously a Guest Professor at Tianjin University and at the School of History and Culture of Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Dagmar Schäfer's interest is the history and sociology of technology of China, focusing on the paradigms configuring the discourse on technological development, past and present. She has published widely on the Premodern history of China (Song-Ming) and technology, materiality, the processes and structures that lead to varying knowledge systems, and the changing role of artifacts—texts, objects, and spaces—in the creation, diffusion, and use of scientific and technological knowledge. Her current research focus is the historical dynamics of concept formation, situations, and experiences of action through which actors have explored, handled and explained their physical, social, and individual worlds. Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (since 2013)