Digital Society Initiative
Prof. Dr. Thomas Friemel
Thomas Friemel is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Media Use and Media Effects at the Institute of Communication Studies and Media Research at the University of Zurich. Since 2021, he is co-director of the Digital Society Initiative at the University of Zurich.
Thomas Friemel studied and received his doctorate at the University of Zurich and was a lecturer at ETH Zurich. He was a professor at the Universities of Augsburg and Bremen, and a Visiting Researcher or Visiting Faculty at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Groningen, Renmin University Beijing, and the National Institutes of Health (USA).
Thomas Friemel's research interests include the social context of media use, health communication, and social network analysis. Together with his team, he investigates the theoretical and methodological challenges but also the social implications of digitalization and the increasing interconnectedness of interpersonal communication and mass media.
He is founder and editor of the European Journal of Health Communication and founder of the Data Donation Lab of the Digitalization Initiative of Zurich Universities (DIZH). He is President of the Steering Committee of NRP 80 "Covid-19 in Society" as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the University Research Center Digital Religions(s), the Steering Committee of the Research Center Public Sphere and Society of the University of Zurich, and the Administrative Commission of the Fund for Road Safety.
Thomas Friemel is a nationally and internationally sought-after expert in media usage research, as well as the development and evaluation of communication campaigns in the health sector.