Zahar Koretsky, MA

Abandoning technology: Understanding the dynamics of technological trajectories of phase-out

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,  Maastricht University,

Supervisor: Prof. Harro van Lente, Dr. Ragna Zeiss


Zahar holds a Master degree in ESST, which he defended with a thesis titled “The role of non-human actors in the management of innovation processes in firms: A case study in a large service provider in Norway”. Previously, he worked as researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen in a Horizon 2020 project on the role of smart grids in mitigating climate change.


Zahar Koretsky (Coretchii) is a PhD Candidate at the Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society (MUSTS) research group. Zahar works on technological trajectories of phase-out or erosion as a way to explain how technology is abandoned. Examples are aerosols, the inefficient light bulb, DDT, and more recently coal and nuclear power. What happens to technologies such as these? What happens to the knowledge base, the proprietary regimes, the professional communities, the users, the governmental stakes? How does all of this unfold? Understanding the dynamics of trajectories of phase-out will likely be increasingly important in the coming decades as environmental, social and economic pressures align.

To answer these and other questions Zahar draws from STS and innovation studies. Empirically, he bases his research on the interesting and troublesome histories of cloud seeding, the BESM computer and German post-war aircraft. Analytically, the study will contribute to social practice theory (Giddens, Shove), innovation regimes (Godoe, Geels) and the sociology of expectations (Van Lente, Brown). Politically, his project is aimed to contribute to discussions about the efficacy of science and technology restrictions and the performativity of fear in technological development.